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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD2135 Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Anthony Buckley

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

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module has contributions from industrial experts in the field of food safety.- What are the micro-organisms responsible for food poisoning and how do outbreaks occur? - How does hygiene affect micro-organism growth and survival and how can this be predicted? - What is HACCP and how does it aid food safety? - Which toxicants are naturally present in foods? - What chemical contaminants can occur in foods, how does it happen and how is it controlled? - Which toxins can be produced in foods on cooking?The module will include case studies from industry, and recent and breaking food scares will be addressed in the lectures.This 20 credit module is taught by a series of lectures and seminars throughout semester 1 and 2. If you have an interest in food safety, enrol on Microbiological and Chemical Food Safety. Students with a pass in a first year biological or chemical science programme are eligible for this module.


On completion of this 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 minimise risk to consumers, and
(b) understand the range of chemical safety issues in food, how they are minimised and regulated.

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 modelling of microbial growth and survival; hazard analysis and critical control point techniques (HACCP)
Modern analytical techniques in microbiolgy.

Inherent (natural) food toxicants, their production and properties; mycotoxins (trichothecenes, ochratoxins and fumonisims), their production, properties and regulation; food contaminants (pesticides, veterinary drug residues, dioxins/PCBs) hazard and regulation; food additives, hazard and regulation; Acrylamide in food, a new safety issue?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours169.00
Total Contact hours31.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Private study of lecture material, directed reading and examination preparation: 169 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Multiple choice test, submitted mid-session

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 100.00
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: 28/04/2023 14:55:41


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