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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5045M Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Anthony Buckley

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

A BSc degree in chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences or related science, or chemical engineering

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of the module, students should:
a) have an understanding of the important microbiological safety issues in food and the scientific basis of the key approaches used by the industry in order to minimize risk to consumers, and
b) understand the range of chemical safety issues in food, how they are minimized and regulated. In both areas, students will be expected to be knowledgable on the relative risks and to be able to carry out basic risk assessments.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
a) Name the key food poisoning microorganisms and describe their effects;
b) Describe the microbial ecology of foods;
c) Describe and explain engineering and microbiological process hygiene;
d) Summarise hazard analysis and critical control point techniques (HACCP);
e) List the inherent (natural) food toxicants, and describe their production and properties;
f) Describe the production and properties of key mycotoxins (aflatoxins, thrichothecenes, and fumonisins), and discuss their regulation;
g) Explain the use of food additives, and discuss their hazards and regulation;
h) Describe the properties of acrylamide and its formation in food;
i) Describe and explain the causes and common/major types of food fraud
j) Assess the risks associated with the various microbial and chemical hazards commonly affecting the food industry


- The key food poisoning microorganisms; microbial ecology of foods; process hygiene - engineering and microbiology
- Predictive modeling of microbial growth and survival
- Hazard analysis and critical control point techniques (HACCP)
- Inherent (natural) food toxicants, their production and properties
- Mycotoxins (aflatoxins, trichothecenes, ochratoxins, and fumonisins), their production, properties and regulation
- Food contaminants (pesticides, veterinary drug residues), hazard and regulation
- Food additives, hazard and regulation; acrylamide in food, a new safety issue?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Private study on lecture material, directed reading and preparation for examinations: 160 hours
- Preparation for seminars: 10 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Through mid-session submitted multiple choice test

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online MCQ1 hr 60 mins75.00
Open Book exam1 hr 60 mins25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/10/2022 12:52:49


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