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Food safety education in elementary school classes in China


Promoting the 2nd World Food Safety Day

By Tian Ding, Mingming Guo, Yiran Jiang

An exciting Food Safety publicity and educational programme for the second World Food Safety Day was held by Department of Food Science and Nutrition of Zhejiang University on 29-31 May  2020. It was titled “Food Safety enters the classes and promotes Food Education in elementary schools”. They integrated food science with safety fun and brought this exciting activity into Liuxia elementary school in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, China. This event was directed by WHO/FAO and organized by Professor Lirong Shen from Zhejiang University. It aimed to raise elementary school students’ awareness, improve their daily behaviours, and prevent foodborne diseases.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online communication was used throughout the event. At the beginning of the event, the organization team first introduced the basic knowledge of World Food Safety Day to the students and displayed its brochure. Secondly, they introduced the food education popular science textbook "Food Safety Knowledge Student Reader" edited by Dr Lirong Shen.

Subsequently, the organization members from Zhejiang University carried out Food Science experiments with students and teachers from Liuxia elementary school, including ‘Is nori made of plastic bags?’, ‘Is sweet watermelon injected with sugar solution?’, ‘Is the food colorant poisonous?’, etc. During the experiments, the team demonstrated how to identify food safety inaccuracies and how to detect the content of pesticide residues quickly. This event connected science classes with publicity, and mobilized children and teachers to participate in activities through flexible and diverse innovative communication and teaching approaches such as new media, fusion media and books, creating a favourable atmosphere for everyone to participate in food safety. Food Nutrition and Safety begins with students, holding small hands in big hands, and every student becomes a spokesperson for Food Safety.

FAO pointed out that food safety education would help consumers make informed and healthy choices and promote a safer food supply. Based on this concept, this series of activities, taking the second food safety day as an opportunity, combined with elementary school classes, presented the popular science knowledge of food production and processing, catering, purchasing, testing, consumption, etc. to primary school students, and strive to improve the scientific literacy of young people and enhance their food safety awareness through the widespread popularization of food safety laws and regulations and scientific knowledge.

Food Safety is everyone's responsibility. We hope everyone plays an important role.



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