Food Microbiology I

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Food Microbiology I

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Microbiology, Nutrition and Food Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description
    Introduction to food microbiology; microbial ecology of foods (effects of water activity, pH, temperature, etc); significance, characteristics and control of important foodborne pathogens; food borne illness; practical culture-based microbiological examination of foods using Australian standard methods; outbreak investigations.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. List characteristics and epidemiological features of the predominant foodborne disease causing microorganisms.
    2. Distinguish between foodborne infection, intoxication and toxicoinfection and know of organisms which can cause these.
    3. Understand the factors which can affect microbial growth in foods.
    4. Understand control methods for preventing food poisoning.
    5. Work individually or as part of a team to accurately isolate, enumerate and confirm the identity of microorganisms from foods, to plan experiments and solve experimental problems.
    6. Work as part of a team to source information and prepare and deliver an oral presentation based on a foodborne disease causing microorganism.
    Class Contact
    2 Lecture hours, 2 Tutorial hours, 3 Practical or Laboratory hours
    Analysis of a food poisoning outbreak
    Type: Presentation
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
    Due Date: Mid-Semester
    Weight: 20%
    Task Description: Bacterial foodborne pathogens cause significant illness around the world and need to be understood from a consumer, industry and regulatory body standpoints. In this task working as groups you will retrieve and analyse important information about ONE food poisoning outbreak that occurred recently.
    Students in groups of 4 will investigate a food poisoning outbreak and prepare a 10 minute oral presentation using Powerpoint. Two tutorial time slots have been allocated for group work in weeks 2 to 5 to allow the group to come together and assemble the presentation, however group work will be required outside of these set times in order to complete the task. The Powerpoint slides will be submitted on the day of the presentation. The presentation order will be determined by random draw.
    Food poisoning outbreak reports are available from searching databases (eg. Google Scholar, PubMed, Food Science and Technology Abstracts) or from MMWR ( ). In the analysis of the food poisoning outbreak you should provide details of where it happened, how many people became ill, what symptoms presented, what the average incubation period was, what food(s) were implicated and then confirmed, how the outbreak was investigated, what pathogen caused the illness (how was this pathogen confirmed?). How the organism contaminated the food and/or was allowed to multiply should be made very clear. Details on how the outbreak could have been avoided should also be discussed. The case analysis should clearly demonstrate relationship between the most common symptoms and incubation periods with that typically caused by the pathogen. You should provide some detail on the characteristics of the foodborne pathogens in context of the outbreak analysis.
    Extra information:
    Remember that you will be delivering this presentation to your class mates so it is important that your group make sense of the material and present it in a clear understandable manner. The number of slides should be around 10-12 and it should go for at least 10 minutes and no longer than 15 minutes. The slides should have not too much text and there should be a good mix with diagrams, pictures, tables etc. The sources of all figures etc should be acknowledged in the particular slides that they are used.
    Mid-semester exam
    Type: Exam - Mid Semester During Class
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Due Date: Mid-Semester
    Weight: 30%
    Reading: 10 minutes
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Format: Multiple-choice, Short answer
    Task Description: This mid-semester exam will cover all the topics presented in lectures prior to this date.
    Skills in the laboratory
    Type: Laboratory
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 5
    Due Date: Mid-Late Semester
    Weight: 5%
    Task Description: In this assessment item you will be required to demonstrate your ability to carry out 5 basic laboratory microbiological techniques.
    Final Exam
    Type: Exam - during Exam Period (Central)
    Learning Objectives Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Due Date: Examination Period
    Weight: 45%
    Reading: 10 minutes
    Duration: 120 minutes
    Format: Short answer, Short essay, Practical, Problem solving
    Task Description: Aspects of the course covered in lectures and practicals will be assessed during the end of semester examination period by a 2 hour exam. The exam will consist of short answer questions and short essay questions.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.