Fun Activities

On The Job

Government & Defence - Primary Products Inspector 


Spot Checking (ideas from Reuban West, ACU Education Student)

 PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability



1. A primary products inspector main job regarding meat is to make sure all meat, poultry and eggs comply with Australian Standards. These inspectors can work for a variety of different meat companies from supermarket owned abbatoirs to private abbatoirs, but their job never changes.

When we buy our meat from a Supermarket, we buy them relatively fresh. When the meat unit of a Supermarket cuts and packages the meat for sale the meat is given a use-by date which usually ends 5 to 7 days after the meat is cut. The plastic and trays the meat sits in are what help prolong the meats life.

As meat is a popular item the butchers in Supermarkets are always restocking their items. When they restock they have to rotate the items. This means they look at the use-by date of the meats and push the newest cuts to the back and bring the older ones to the front in an effort to not waste their meat. In some cases when meat has 2 days remaining in their use-by date they are reduced at "sale" prices.

Meat trays

Your task is to go to up to 3 supermarkets and perform a spot check on the meat department. You will check that not only are the meats fresh but if they have been successfully rotated and are stored correctly.

2. When you visit the meat departments you will need a checklist. Using the tally mark system you will mark any mistake you see for each supermarket meat department.

Ask the butcher in the meat department how much wastage occurs in any one week.

Write down all the used-by dates and calculate the percentage that are or should be in the "sale" time.

Can you see, at a glance, which products are the most popular?

3. After you have finished visiting all 3 supermarkets you will compile your results in a graph and write a reflection on on each supermarket department and their results.

4. Ask the person in your family who mainly buys the family meat - how do they decide what meat to buy? Do they buy any meat on sale with a close used by date? Why? Why not?




"Horse Meat Scandal" - Is it ethical to eat horse meat?  (some ideas from Reuban West, ACU Education Student)

MiddleMiddle High SchoolSecondary

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

Ethical Understanding Australian Curriculum General Capability: Ethical Understanding




1. In groups of 4 - 5 students you are going to investigate the horse meat scandal. From late 2012 to 2013 there was a very public scandal regarding the use of Horse Meat in products which were labelled as beef. This scandal gave rise to calls for a new inspection process - although a primary products inspector was the first to alert the public. The scandal effected countries in Europe to Australia, causing a major panic on the part of consumers.

Read and analyse the following articles that discuss the scandal in depth. Use the Expert Jigsaw Strategy to do this analysis. Reading

The Conversation 15 February 2013

The Conversation
The Conversation 26 February 2013

The Conversation
The Conversation 1 March 2013

The Conversation

2. What are the issues involved? List them and compare your list with your group. 

3. The issue of trust and that labeling is important. But what about the issue of the Ethics of Food: Why not Horse Meat? Reading


4. As a class, read this article and hold a Socratic Seminar using the following Socratic Seminar Guidelines Reading

Socratic Seminar

Focus on the following questions:

"The fact remains that our food taboos are selective, and based on feelings as well as tradition and convenience. Some people won’t eat “anything with a face.” Some won’t eat anything with a cute face. Some will eat anything as long as it no longer has a face.

  • How do you feel about the horse meat issue?
  • Would you eat horse? Why or why not?
  • And is there an inherent moral difference between eating horse, beef, pork, snake, kangaroo, or grubs? Not to mention “long pig”?
  • Let’s assume that none of the species are endangered…So where do we draw the line? At the level of intelligence, a Kantian response? Pigs are far more intelligent than horses, according to the experts.
  • How about according to the amount of suffering, a utilitarian approach? If emotional suffering (=fear) counts, then we all know what “Silence of the lambs” means, and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin has taught us that the fear factor is very high in animals being led to the slaughter.
  • How about another utilitarian angle, a distinction between the suffering of one animal feeding many people vs. the suffering of one animal feeding just a few? (A steer vs. a chicken, for example).
  • (Or how about the choice of ethical egoism: satisfy your own needs in pursuit of your own happiness?)
  • Regardless of our underlying moral theory we make choices, and they are grounded partly in our traditions, and partly in our feelings, rarely in dispassionate logic. So granted that our cultural choices of food are more driven by emotion than other considerations (unless we’re starving), then at what point does your food ethic kick in? (Source: Ethics of Food: Why not Horse Meat?)

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