FZCR53-Risk analysis in the food chain - CPD

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr David Jukes

Email: d.j.jukes@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Ensuring the safety of the food supply is a key requirement for all stakeholders – this includes the primary producers, food manufacturers, distributors and retailers. In addition, governments have a key role in ensuring that food reaching consumers is safe and that adequate controls are applied. The application of risk analysis principles is considered an important tool for achieving this. Delivered using a two stage blended model this module explains the components of risk analysis (risk assessment, risk management and risk communication) and looks at their use and application by the different stakeholders. In particular, through the use of a group exercise built around the activities of a national food control authority and using recommended good practices, students will investigate an actual food risk and develop an appropriate management strategy through five to six weeks of distance learning delivering lectures, background information and directed reading in preparation for a campus-based workshop of 4 consecutive, intensive days of seminars, tutorials and practical sessions delivered by academic members of teaching and research staff from the department of Food & Nutritional Sciences and the wider University of Reading and invited experts in the field from across academia and industry.


The module considers how risk analysis is incorporated into the maintenance of a safe food supply throughout the food chain. It aims to help students recognise how the elements of risk analysis are applied and the role of different stakeholders. By the correct application of these elements, students will be better able to ensure food safety.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, learners should be able to:

  • describe the key elements of risk analysis

  • explain how risk analysis is applied in different parts of the food chain

  • undertake risk assessment activities, identify appropriate risk management options and develop suitable risk communication strategies

Additional outcomes:

The following transferable skills will be developed in this module:

  • Critical evaluation of data from a variety of sources

  • Effective communication of scientific information in oral and written format with scientific rigour

  • Debating skills

Outline content:

Introductory online material provided via a virtual learning environment (VLE) will describe the key elements of risk analysis as applied to the food chain and prepare students for the on campus study period. The development of risk analysis is put into the context of past and current issues in the food chain (e.g. BSE/CJD and GM food). The application of risk analysis to different parts of the food chain will be considered.  Students, working in groups of 3-5, will undertake a problem-based learning exercise where risk assessment and risk management issues are applied to a current problem in the food chain (e.g. aflatoxin in nuts, antibiotic residues in seafood, mercury contamination in fish). This will lead to the submission of a group report and a presentation to the class.

Global context:

The issues discussed and the procedures studied have application universally around the globe. Although largely based on European approaches to risk analysis, they are used internationally.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module consists of some preliminary introductory online material, a series of lectures and presentations covering different aspects of risk analysis and its application to the food chain.  A major component will be a problem based learning group exercise.

Module Delivery and Contact hours

The module content will be delivered by distance learning and through direct staff contact time. The module will consist of preliminary learning materials delivered over a 5 – 6 week period as distance learning via a virtual learning environment (VLE). This will include a series of short video/audio lectures and directed reading, which will represent 36 hours of student input. This will prepare students for a 4-day intensive on campus workshop that will include 28 hours of academic-led learning and practical classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 28
Guided independent study 36
Total hours by term 64.00
Total hours for module 64.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are no summative assessments with this module.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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