FBMM2B-Food Microbiology and Safety B

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: FBMM1 Food Microbiology and FBMM2A Food Microbiology and Safety A
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Gemma Walton

Email: g.e.walton@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module initially introduces food microbiology and includes the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and prions and their relevance to food science. This will include the importance of microorganisms to food production, food spoilage, and foodborne illness as well as a look at issues of the role of the gut bacteria on human health and strategies to manipulate this intestinal community. In the second term the focus shifts to issues of food safety and control including the use of HACCP as a quality management system in the food supply system and the use of microbiological sampling plans in food quality assurance. The module ends with some lectures from external speakers and some consideration of broader aspects of food safety control management. This module will provide both practical and theoretical training, by combining practical classes and lectures.

In the initial part or the module, the aim is to deliver basic information on the nature of microorganisms and food-borne diseases and their significance to the food industry and society. Furthermore this module aims to provide details of how microbes are used within the food industry. Practical experience of working with microorganisms in the laboratory will be obtained. In this part the module will emphasise the ecologies of the microbes and relate the ecologies to approaches used in the control of food spoilage and of food borne illness. In the second part, the module aims to develop an understanding of the main elements of microbiological quality assurance for the supply, manufacture and distribution of safe food for consumers and to relate this to wider food control issues.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At successful completion of the module the student should be able to:
•describe the basic properties of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and prions
•identify an organism as a bacterium, yeast or mould in the laboratory
•select appropriate method(s) for assessing the microbial flora of foods
•evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of microorganisms to the food industry
•evaluate the results of microbiological tests in relation to the nature of the food and its previous history
•describe the effects of environmental conditions on microbial growth and food spoilage
•describe methods of food preservation
•describe measures for the control of food poisoning bacteria
•participate in the establishment of HACCP-based quality assurance systems
•assess and apply appropriate microbiological sampling plans
•explain the role of food safety in the context of food control management.

Additional outcomes:
Students will also develop skills in: making accurate observations; correctly recording procedures; interpreting observations and data; effective verbal and written communication skills; working in a team.

Outline content:
The module will include the following components:
•Properties of biological systems; morphology, structure and function of bacteria, fungi and viruses; cultivation of microorganisms.
•Factors affecting microbial growth; microbial metabolism; effects of environment on microbial growth.
•Assessment of microbial floras of foods; direct and indirect methods; total and viable counts; biomass and activity determinations; selection of appropriate method.
•Ecology of food-borne diseases; food intoxications; food infections.
•Microorganisms and food fermentation.
•Microbiology of food spoilage; implicated microorganisms; prevention and control of food spoilage; hygiene, good manufacturing practice; food preservation; predictive microbiology.
•Ecology of gut bacteria and implications for human health and disease; application of pre- and probiotics to manipulate this indigenous population.
•Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points: undertaking an HACCP analysis.
•Microbiological Sampling Plans: consideration of the development and use of appropriate microbiological standards and sampling plans
•Some lectures from external speakers

Global context:
The issues covered in this module have international application and the different components will be relevant and can be applied in the food industry in any country in the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module consists of a combination of lectures and supporting laboratory classes. In addition, the HACCP study is completed as a group task in the form of problem-based learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18 14
Seminars 14
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 18
Guided independent study 52 62 20
Total hours by term 90.00 90.00 20.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 15
Report 25

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment schedule:
•Autumn Term Laboratory Notebook: the practical notebook consists of questions designed to promote inquiry-based learning and is submitted weekly from weeks 6-11
•Essay: submission at the end of week 13.
•HACCP Report: Spring Term, Week 8

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
3 hours

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Written examination during the University re-examination period in August

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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