MICR 331: Food Microbiology
18 points - Semester 1
The fundamentals of food microbiology and its importance to the community; food preservation; food-borne infections; the microbiological analysis of foods including data interpretation.
Microbiology is a critical component of the food industry being central to all aspects of food generation from spoilage to production. This paper is jointly taught with the Department of Food Science and the course aims are to:
- develop an understanding of the relationship between microorganisms and food with an emphasis on food safety, quality and shelf life
- develop an understanding of the methods/regimes that may be implemented to enhance food safety, quality and shelf life
If you are interested in the epidemiology of the major food-borne pathogens and how they multiply and survive in food, and the role of microbes in spoilage and shelf life, how microbiology is used to enhance food safety and shelf life at a practical level and how food pathogens are detected, then this course will provide the theoretical and practical links to this field.
Lecture course overview
- Foodborne pathogens: the major foodborne pathogens that cause infections - Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes - characteristics, epidemiology and sources, and their ability to multiply/survive in food. Toxin- (Staphylococcus aureus) and spore- producing (Clostridium perfringens) foodborne pathogens and introduction to viral foodborne pathogens in particular noroviruses.
- Molecular and traditional methods of detection of foodborne pathogens and food spoilage organisms
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control point (HACCP) plans
- Factors affecting microbes in food: in particular intrinsic factors such as water activity, nutrient availability, biological structures and antimicrobial substances and extrinsic factors such as temperature, relative humidity, gaseous atmosphere, presence and activities of other microorganisms
- Food spoilage microorganisms associated with red meat, poultry, finned fish and dairy
- Methods of food preservation in particular heat, chemical preservatives and processing technologies such as microwave, UV light, pulsed bright light, ionising radiation, pulsed electric fields and high pressure
- Cleaning and sanitisation in food processing premises; the importance of preventing/removing biofilms in food processing plants
Lab course overview
In the laboratory course you will detect, identify or enumerate microorganisms or their metabolic products in food and apply this knowledge to food product and processing evaluation. Over the 4-week lab course you will:
- isolate and enumerate coliform bacteria from food (week 1 and 2)
- make your own batch of sauerkraut and then examine the fermentative and spoilage organisms present and the metabolic by-products produced by these organisms over time (weeks 1 – 4)
- establish the thermal death time of Listeria associated with fish prepared for hot-smoking (week 2 and 3)
- use PCR to detect a foodborne pathogen in a mayonnaise sample (week 4).
- HACCP plan for the production of sauerkraut (20%)
- Laboratory quiz (10%)
- Final exam (70%)
MICR 221 or MICR 201
CHEM 191 or CHEM 112
Thursday 09:00 – 09:50, CHEM1
Friday 11:00 – 11:50, RMOOT
Tuesday 14:00 – 17:50, Wednesday 09:00 – 17:50*
Labs are held in room 302, Microbiology building
*you can leave the Wednesday lab session to attend other courses as needed.
Food Microbiology labs run weeks 9 – 12 of Semester 1.
There will also be small amounts of work required on additional days of the week but this can be worked around other class commitments.
Note: there are no lecture or practical clashes between any of the 300-level MICR papers.
There is no required text for this course but you will be directed to relevant scientific papers during lectures.
- Dr Robin Simmonds (Co-course convenor) »
- Professor Phil Bremer (Co-course convenor) »
- Dr Rita Przybilski
For further information on this course, please contact Course convenors Robin Simmonds (479-7478, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Phil Bremer (479-5469, email@example.com) or the 3rd year Teaching Fellow Rita Przybilski (479-8475, micro300level.TF@otago.ac.nz)
To find out information on the fees and other information on this paper, click here.