Food safety explained to children

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How to convey the basic principles of food safety to children? The question is answered by the study conducted by the University of Padua together with the Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie.

The survey involved 250 pupils from 12 elementary schools, ages 9 to 11. One group took a theoretical lesson on microorganisms, finding out where they are found and how to guard against the risks they can pose. Instead, the others participated in three simple microbiology experiments by observing under a microscope the different degree of bacterial contamination on well-washed or dirty hands and the presence of bacteria in the air and mouth.

Children were asked to draw pictures and answer a questionnaire to express their knowledge about microorganisms and to describe hygiene habits, for example regarding hand hygiene care. The test, conducted before and after the experiment, showed a significant improvement in knowledge after the training. With more positive results among participants in the laboratory experiment.

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