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Food Microbiology and Safety (FOOD20006)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeFOOD20006
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Microbes (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and other agents) can be associated with food in several ways:

  • As components of the fermentation processes that are associated with the development of flavours and textures of food and its preservation
  • As the normal microflora that is associated with the origins of the food and persist during storage, possibly contributing to food spoilage
  • As contaminants that enter food during processing or through subsequent mishandling, often posing public health risks

However, as foods must be safe and fit for human consumption, this subject aims to familiarise students with major food spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms.

The content will cover:

  • The kinetics of bacterial growth and the factors that may alter this (water activity, low pH, temperature, preservatives)
  • The principles of modelling growth
  • The principles of hazard and risk assessment in microbiological safety
  • The role of microbes in food processing, including examples of specific fermentation processes and waste treatment

Practical exercises and case studies will be undertaken to provide an in-depth understanding of the regulatory framework of food safety

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the subject students should be able to:

  • Describe concepts of normal flora and pathogenic microbes
  • Understand how microbes interact and impact on food
  • Understand the basics of identifying, classifying and enumerating microbes important in agri-food systems
  • Use bright field light microscopy as a tool for identifying microbes
  • Use aseptic techniques for the transfer and handling enumerating and identifying microorganisms in food samples

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Enhanced skills in preparing reports based on practical experience
  • Ability to analyse and integrate information from published and publicly available literature
  • Teamwork capability for completion of case study tasks in a timely fashion

Last updated: 12 July 2019