What is a Microorganism?
viruses, bacteria and
• They are too small to
be seen with the
naked eye, but can be
Image Credit: USDA
seen with a
microscope Photo by: Scott Bauer
• They are single celled
Where Do Microbes Live?
• Microbes live in the water you drink, the
food you eat, and the air you breathe.
• Right now, billions of microbes are
swimming in your belly and mouth, and
crawling on your skin!
Are Microbes Harmful?
• 95% of all microbes are
• Some are very beneficial to
• Bacteria in people’s intestines
help to digest food
• Some harmless microbes
protect people by competing
with harmful microbes for Image Credit:
How do Microbes Multiply?
• They multiply QUICKLY!
• Scientists often use scientific notation to
express their large numbers
Some Common Harmful
Bacteria in Food
Name Where is it Disease/Result
Salmonella Raw meats, Nausea,
poultry, dairy vomiting,
E.Coli 0157:H7 Raw and undercooked Abdominal pain,
ground beef, other red cramps, nausea,
milk, soft cheese,
fresh fruit and occasional fever
Salmonella & E.Coli 0157:H7
Image Credit: EHA Consulting Group Inc.
Why are Space Scientists
Concerned about Microbes?
• Seven astronauts (each with
their own microbes) will be
living in small, air-tight space
for months or years
• Harmful microbes can
spread and make the crew
• Aspects of spaceflight are
known to weaken the human
• Certain microbes can attack Image Credit: USDA
the materials and hardware
of the Station
What is NASA Doing to Eliminate
Harmful Microbes in Space?
• Testing each crewmate for infection
• Only healthy crew members are
allowed to fly in space
What About the Water and Air?
• Air, water and surfaces with
which crew members interact
must be kept clean
• All air in the space station
will pass through filters-High
Efficiency Particle Air
• Water will be disinfected by a
machine called a Catalytic
Protecting Space Station
• Some harmful microbes can thrive on the
• Eventually, they could eat away at the
Space Station material
Image Credit: NASA
Protection of the Space
• Humidity of the air will be kept low
• Astronauts will clean materials
• Paint with a fungus-killing chemical will be
Image Credit: NASA
How can we control microbial
growth here on Earth?
• Dozens of NASA Spin-offs have improved
our lives here on Earth
• In order to prevent bacterial contamination
in space, NASA hired Pillsbury to develop
a preventative food safety program
• Pillsbury developed the Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
• HACCP is designed to prevent food safety
problems rather than catch then after they
• It includes seven principles
• It was adopted by the FDA in the1990’s
HACCP’s Seven Principles for
1. Analyze Hazards
2. Identify Critical Control Points
Principles 3 & 4
1. Establish Critical Limits for each Critical
2. Establish Monitoring Procedures
Principles 5, 6 & 7
1. Establish Corrective
2. Establish Verification
3. Establish Records and
What are some ways your could
implement HACCP Principles in
your home kitchen?