Lior Typing - Teacher's Guide

Meet Dr. Hermy Lior, who was instrumental in developing research tests and methods to distinguish different types of the bacteria E. coli and Campylobacter.

Video and Transcript | List of Teacher's Guides

Curriculum Connections

Home Economics/Family Studies (Grade 9/10)

  • Identify and demonstrate safe food-handling practices, including kitchen safety, sanitary methods and proper food storage;
  • Write a report or an essay analysing a food issue;
  • Distinguish between research evidence and opinion;
  • Evaluate print and electronic resources on food and nutrition for validity, reliability, accuracy, bias and relevance.

Health (Grade 11/12)

  • Identify factors that lead to food-generated ailments;
  • Analyse the value of health information and health-promoting products and services.

You Should Know...

Food-borne illness is serious. According to Health Canada, Canadians had at least 2 million cases of food-borne illness last year; not only is this serious for the individuals involved, it also has an effect on health services and the workplace. Two groups have been targeted for more "education" on this topic -- children and the elderly.

The federal government is actively involved in the prevention of food-borne illnesses through many of its agencies including Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The CFIA enforces the food safety and nutritional quality standards established by Health Canada, and for animal health and plant protection, to set standards and carry out enforcement and inspection. Activities range from the inspection of federally-registered meat processing facilities to border inspections for foreign pests and diseases, to the enforcement of practices related to fraudulent labelling. The CFIA monitors the transportation of animals, conducts food investigations and recalls, performs laboratory testing and environmental assessments of seeds, plants, feeds and fertilizers. In a nutshell, the CFIA is Canada's federal food safety, animal health and plant protection enforcement agency.

At the consumer level, there are many things that families can do to help ensure that their food is safe to eat - at home, at school and when eating out. A basic awareness of proper food handling, cleanliness practices and the importance of temperature in controlling and killing bacteria are essential.

Questions

  1. What percentage of chicken is estimated to be infected with bacteria when purchased by the consumer?
  2. What is the size of the "campy" [short for campylobacter] problem in Canada according to Health Canada experts?
  3. As well as chicken, where is campy found?
  4. How do "fingerprinting" and "tracking" help to minimize the problems associated with the bacteria?
  5. How did Hermy Lior "break up" the clumping of the bacteria to make them easier to study in the laboratory?
  6. What is the test called that Lior invented to identify the campy?
  7. Differentiate between serotyping and biotyping.
  8. Why is the tracking component -- getting to the source of the bacteria -- such an important component in disease management?

Reflection

  1. What are some of the safeguards that should be employed when dealing with food (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and fruits and vegetables)? For detailed information, check the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's FightBAC! Program at www.canfightbac.org and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at www.inspection.gc.ca
  2. Hermy Lior is described as a "pioneer" who has developed world-wide standards for the identification and tracking of bacteria. Why has his work been so significant?
  3. Although we eat chicken and beef almost every week, most of us have never heard of Hermy Lior. Why?
  4. As Canadians, we often do not celebrate our own "greatness". We have so many people who have been described as "pioneers" on the world stage. How could we promote these accomplishments?
  5. Identify Canadian individuals, companies or accomplishments that have been "leading edge" in the world in the areas of: Aerospace; Genetics; Sports; Water Treatment; Medicine; Agricultural Research; Oceanography.
  6. Research the roles of government agencies and industry in the area of food safety.
  7. Two groups of people in the population have been identified as being prone to illnesses related to food safety - children and those over 60 years of age. Choose one of these groups and indicate why the group would be more at risk than others.
  8. The Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.A.) is a world leader in the detection and prevention of the spread of disease. Currently, it employs over 8 000 people. Research to determine the methods that they use in their efforts to control food-borne illnesses.
  9. Obtain a copy of the FightBAC! Program for grades 4 - 7 available at www.canfightbac.org and evaluate the material for its impact for students of this grade level. What changes would you recommend if the intended audience was students in secondary schools?
  10. Even if we, as Canadians, utilize the best methods involved in food safety, from the producer to the consumer, there is still the possibility of problems with foods, including imported foods. What is the role of the federal government in ensuring food safety of imported goods?

Web Sites

www.inspection.gc.ca
foodnet.fic.ca/
www.canfightbac.org/
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpfb-dgpsa/onpp-bppn/index_e.html
www.uoguelph.ca/CRIFS/

Assessment and Evaluation

1. In small groups, develop a plan to teach younger children (grades 4 - 7) about the basics of food safety. In your plan, emphasize the four components: Clean, Cook, Chill and Separate.
2. Prepare a poster for your neighbourhood elementary school to illustrate the basics of food safety.