SLEK16001U Advanced course in Microbiological Food Safety
MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology
This course deals with Microbial food safety topics both in
theory and practice. The course is focused on 1) how we detect
food borne pathogens, 2) how we find the source of outbreaks of
food born disease as well as the methods employed, and 3) novel
advanced strategies for biological interventions for future
applications. In relation to detection of pathogens, different
principles will be discussed and evaluated. For investigations of
food borne outbreaks, typing methods will be addressed including
traditional methods such as PFGE and MLST as well as new approaches
involving whole genome sequence analysis. As examples of biological
interventions we will examine bacteriophages and their enzymes for
potential application in food safety and we will address how CRISPR
technology may be applied. The results of the practical part of the
course will be communicated in a course report. The course
will address timely microbial food safety issues such as Listeria
monocytogenes in meat products and will cover new food safety
challenges such as the risk associated with transmission of
antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA in food products.
The major topics covered in the course are
- Zoonotic diseases and importance in food production with a focus on reservoir, transmission, clinical manifestations as well as prevalence and development/acquisition of antimicrobial resistance.
- Detection of food borne pathogens. Theoretical and practical knowledge of molecular methods used for detection of pathogens with focus on detection principles and the importance of rapid detection, sensitivity and specificity.
- Tracing of food borne pathogens. Theoretical and practical knowledge of molecular methods used for tracing the source of food borne outbreaks including the principle of various typing methods, their advantages and limitations and their applications in studies of evolution and population analysis.
- Using biological interventions. Theoretical and practical knowledge of novel biological intervention in the food chain, their advantages and limitations and the current status in implementing such novel methods in the food chain.
The specific theoretical and practical subjects will vary in extent and content to reflect timely food safety issues.
The purpose of the course is to provide an understanding of
microbial food safety in the entire production chain and to provide
tools to identify and solve problems pertinent to food safety.
Furthermore the course will provide basic knowledge of selected
food production systems and will allow students to assess risks at
various steps in these systems.
- Mention common infectious agents and toxins of relevance to food safety in the food production with focus on their habitat, route of transmission, survival and enrichment in animal production as well as the risk they pose for human and animal health.
- Describe the principles behind detection of food borne
- Understand tools and methods for identifying and solving food borne outbreaks
- Understand the application of advanced biological intervention
- Use principles and methods for identifying and solving problems of importance to food safety.
- Work in the laboratory with selected experimental techniques that are applied in food safety.
- Communicate knowledge on issues within the food safety area
- React on food safety issues including recommendations for correcting actions and communication of these recommendations to decision makers at each step in the food production chain.
- Evaluate the extent to which existing and novel interventions strategies are fulfilling current legislation.
- Cooperate with technical staff and fellow students on setting up, performing and evaluating laboratory experiments to address food safety issues.
- Reflect on future needs and approaches to ensure safe food
Articles, reports and other to be handed out during the course
Pathogens and Toxins in Foods:
Challenges and Interventions
Edited by Vijay K. Juneja and John N. Sofos (Wiley, 2009)
- Class Instruction
- Theory exercises
- Practical exercises
- Project work
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Oral examination, 30 minOral examination in the written report and pensum - without preparation time
Weight: 100 % oral examination.
- Exam registration requirements
Written report (the basis of the oral exam)
- All aids allowed
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
See learning outcome