FOOD SC 2502WT - Food Microbiology II

Waite Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course aims to provide instruction in the general principles of food microbiology. Hands on practicals complimented with an industry-based project, give a real-world perspective to microbiological challenges faced by the food industry. The course covers the biology and epidemiology of food- and water-borne microorganisms of public health significance; the microbiology of food preservation and food commodities; principles and methods for the microbiological examination of foods and microbiological quality control.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code FOOD SC 2502WT
    Course Food Microbiology II
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge PLANT SC 2520WT
    Restrictions Available only to Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science students
    Assessment Exam, practical reports, research project report
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: James Ralph

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

    1 Explain the interactions between microorganisms and the food environment, and factors influencing their growth and survival.
    2 Explain the significance and activities of microorganisms in food.
    3 Describe the characteristics of foodborne, waterborne and spoilage microorganisms, and methods for their isolation, detection and identification.
    4 Explain why microbiological quality control programmes are necessary in food production.
    5 Explain the effects of fermentation in food production and how it influences the microbiological quality and status of the food product.
    6 Discuss the microbiology of different types of food commodities
    7 Discuss the rationale for the use of standard methods and procedures for the microbiological analysis of food.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    Foodborne Pathogens A.H. Varnam & M.G. Evans (1996, Manson Publishing)

    Food Microbiology M.R. Adams & M.O. Moss (2000, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK)

    Essentials of Food Microbiology J. Garbut (1997, Arnold Press)


    USFDA site: ult.htm

    Codex – Food hygiene

    EU microbiological criteria

    CAC – Principles of microbiological risk analysis

    International commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF)

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by practicals to develop the material covered in the lectures. An industry based project will also be completed to give a real-world perspective to microbiological problems faced by various companies.

    Students unable to attend face to face practicals can undertake alternative online assignments.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Intro to food microbiology, requirements of course, assignment topic issued, practicals

    Lecture - intrinsic/extrinsic properties of food
    Week 2 Lecture – water
    Petrifilms, dilutions
    Practical 1: dilutions, aseptic technique, plating etc.
    Week 3 Lecture – meat microbiology Practical 2: water microbiology
    Week 4 Lecture – dairy microbiology Practical 3: Meat microbiology
    Week 5 Lecture – fish microbiology Practical 4: Dairy microbiology
    Week 6 Lecture – plant/seed microbiology Practical 5: Fish microbiology
    Week 7 Lecture – pathogens Practical 6: Fruit, vegetable, salad, aflatoxin testing
    Week 8 Lecture - pathogens Complete practical 6 Tutorial
    Mid semester break
    Week 9 Lecture – Pathogens Tutorial
    Week 10 Lecture – emerging techniques, food parasites Tutorial
    Week 11 Lecture – viruses, practical microbiology Tutorial
    Week 12 Tour to IMVS – Food and Environmental Laboratories
    This summary is subject to change
    Specific Course Requirements

    1 field trip will be completed – subject to confirmation

    1 IMVS – Food and Environmental Laboratories is scheduled for week 12. This is situated in the Hansen Institute Building on Frome Road. On-site car parking is available in a U- Park site. Students are responsible for providing their own transport to the Laboratories.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
         Assessment point

    % of final marks
    Due Hurdle Learning outcomes assessed
    1 Practical reports formative 25 2 weeks after completion of the practical No 1,2,3
    2 Research Project summative 25 Week 12 (late submissions will not be accepted) No 2,4,6
    3 Exam summative 50 As per examination timetable No 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Attendance at practical sessions is compulsory. Students must sign their name on the class register at the commencement of the practical class. White laboratory coats and closed-in shoes must be worn at all times during practical sessions. Long hair must be tied back.

    Assessment Detail

    1 Practical Reports

    3 practicals must be submitted. All students will submit Practical 1. This will be extensively commented upon but not graded. Students will then be required to submit two other practical reports of their choosing for grading. Reports are due 2 weeks after completion of the practical work.

    2 Research Project – 2000 words

    Due: 22/10/14

    You have been appointed as the Quality Assurance Manager for a large national food processing company. One of your duties is to assess the microbial quality of a new food product that the company has developed and wishes to sell on the national market. This will take the form of a formal report to the Managing Director.

    Each student will be assigned a product and the following issues will be required to be researched:

    1 How is the product going to be manufactured? This is to be examined from a large scale manufacturing perspective, not a home kitchen one.

    2 Discuss the products intrinsic and extrinsic parameters.

    3 What microbiological aspects need to be considered when manufacturing this product?

    4 What standards/guidelines must be complied with when producing this product?
    - give details of the standards/guidelines
    - discuss how these standards/guidelines would help to ensure your commodity is fit for human consumption
    - why would you choose to use these standards/guidelines?

    5 To ensure that your commodity is fit for human consumption, microbial testing would need to be conducted. Discuss what you would test for, why and how often you would conduct each test. Justify each of your decisions.

    6 What changes would you make to the commodity to make it a safer product?
    All assessable components must be handed in at the Applied Food Studies Office, Regency TAFE by 5.00pm of the due date. All assessment pieces will be marked and returned to students within 14 days of receiving it.

    Penalty for Late Submission of Assessment Tasks

    Assessment tasks must be submitted by the stated deadlines. There will be a penalty for late submission of assessment tasks: the submitted work will be marked ‘without prejudice’ and 10% of the obtained mark will be deducted for each working day (or part of a day) that an assessment task is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the mark attained. An examiner may elect not to accept any assessment task that a student wants to submit after that task has been marked and feedback provided to the rest of the class
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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