Diagnosis, Preparedness, Public Health

Foodborne Illnesses

Author Kimberly Hazel , 13-Sep-2022

The Foodborne Illnesses Lesson Plan by GIDEON is designed to provide students with an understanding of major foodborne pathogens and how epidemiological investigations are completed when a foodborne illness outbreak occurs. After this lesson, students should be able to identify characteristics of major foodborne pathogens, their role in causing illness, foods involved in outbreaks, and methods of prevention. They will also be able to describe the steps involved in a foodborne illness outbreak investigation and the rationale for each.


This lesson will also have students calculate the attack rate for a foodborne illness outbreak and use the attack rate and symptoms to determine the probable food and associated pathogen responsible for a foodborne illness outbreak.


Activities that engage students in learning about foodborne illnesses are present in this lesson plan.



About the Lesson Plan

The activities in the lesson plan focus on foodborne pathogens and illnesses.  Each activity also includes an educator’s guide providing step-by-step instructions and resources.

This Lesson Features:

  • Lesson Outcomes & Overview
  • Initial Discussion Questions
  • Creating a Foodborne Illness Reference Sheet Activity
  • Explore Module Walkthrough
  • Tales from the Gala: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation Activity with Guided Investigation Worksheets & Answer Keys
  • Diagnose Module Walkthrough


GIDEON Module Highlighted in the Lesson:

This lesson plan uses GIDEON’s Explore Module to provide information on infectious diseases and their outbreaks. This information includes the history of the disease, clinical information, and epidemiological data. This module provides a comprehensive overview of each disease, which is beneficial for teaching about disease spread and its effects.

GIDEON’s Diagnose Module is also used in this lesson plan. This module allows students to confirm their proposed foodborne pathogen responsible for the outbreak. The Diagnose Module provides a Bayesian Analysis-based differential diagnosis by having students submit relevant symptoms and outbreak information.

Kimberly Hazel