LLEK10219U Control of Foodborne Microorganisms

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
MSc Programme in Biochemistry


Brush-up on major foodborne pathogens, toxins and common spoilage microorganisms and how we can eliminate or control unwanted microorganisms as well as brush-up on personal and production hygiene incl. transfer routes, cleaning and disinfection, water quality and monitoring methods. The course has special  focus on the qualitative and quantitative effects of physical and chemical preservation principles on microbial cells and populations and provides examples of the tools and programmes currently available for predictions of growth and inactivation. It deals with sampling strategies and detection methods and discusses the role of selection, injury, and adaptation in microrganisms. The application of the knowledge qualitatively and quantitatively in HACCP, design of safe processes, and risk assessment is discussed.

Learning Outcome

The course has relevance to everyone interested in food processing, microbial food safety and quality assurance or inspection. The aim of the course is to provide the students with knowledge on hygiene, preservation processes and microbiological quality and safety assurance in order for them to apply this in the design of safe food processes and products including setting up HACCP programmes. 

Upon completion the students should be able to: 


  • Identify and characterize the major microbiological hazards 
  • Give an overview of the role of hygiene in food safety and spoilage 
  • Describe the contamination routes and intervention strategies related to food hygiene 
  • Describe the scientific principles in cleaning, disinfection and monitoring
  • Describe the principles in hygienic factory layout, equipment design 
  • Provide an overview of major water safety issues and personal hygiene issues 
  • Describe the common preservation principles 
  • Describe commonly used monitoring, sampling and detection methods 
  • Explain the general microbiological response to different preservation stresses 
  • Have insight in the elements and tools in predictive microbiology 


  • Evaluate food process hygiene and identify major flaws 
  • Design and implement hygienic measures in the food, food ingredient and related industries 
  • Explain the interaction between preservation principles, processing strategies and their impact on microbiological safety and quality 
  • Apply this knowledge in HACCP programmes for specific food productions 


  • Take responsibility for basic food hygiene programmes from the processing steps to the consumer 
  • Evaluate or develop HACCP-based microbiological safety assurance programmes 
  • Investigate and predict microbiological quality problems 
  • Communicate the scientific basis to peer groups

See Absalon for a list of course literature. Reviews and scientific papers will be used. For basic background knowledge, most updated Food Microbiology books can be used.

Basic knowledge in food microbiology, food technology and skills in quality assurance incl. HACCP is assumed.
Lectures, theoretical and practical exercises, seminars, and project work. The lectures introduce different aspects of food preservation microbiology and the impact on quality and safety. The exercises, seminars, and project work will help the students to familiarize themselves with principles and methods as well as to discuss and communicate the science both orally and in writing.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 12
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 34
  • Project work
  • 99
  • Theory exercises
  • 14
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination in project report. The individual project topics are decided during the last part of the course. The individual reports are used as basis for oral presentation and examination.

Weight: Report 50%, oral examination 50 %
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Possibility to re-submit project report two weeks before the date of the re-examination. Otherwise, same as ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome.