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Soy fresh, soy clean: Using aseptic technique for food safety

How clean is your lab station?
About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Microbes in food are the culprits. The purpose of these protocols is to investigate the effectiveness of bio-based cleaners at reducing bacterial counts on lab stations. See teacher background →


# Student lab preparation

Students learn the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, then practice lab skills by creating agar plates that will serve them throughout the unit.


# Student lab station monitoring

Students monitor their lab station, and determine the quantity of microorganisms that survive on their lab stations.


# Bio-based cleaners

Students determine how effective bio-based cleaners are in killing common bacteria.


# How bio-based cleaners work

Students observe how various bio-based cleaners work by attacking proteins. Students then create their own experiment to determine the effectiveness of bio-based cleaners on lipids.


Teacher background

Foodborne diseases are a significant public health burden that are largely preventable. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. For the first time, FDA will have a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, science-based preventive controls across the food supply.

Background on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

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Next gen science standards

Science and engineering practices

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Crosscutting concepts

  • Scale, proportion, and quantity

Disciplinary core ideas/content

  • LS1A Structure and Function
  • LS1B Growth and development of organisms
  • PS4C Information technologies and instrumentation
  • ETS1 Engineering Design
  • ETS2 Links among Engineering, technology, science and society

Curriculum authors