FHM-22806 Food Hazards


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work20
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. R Hartemink
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MW Reij
prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens
dr. ir. R Hartemink
dr. PM Poortvliet
di. ir. K Beekmann
prof. dr. HJ Wichers
EM Pothuis
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens

Language of instruction:



This is compulsory for students in the second year of the BSc Food Technology. The course was developed by the Chair Group Toxicology, the Laboratory of Food Microbiology and the Chair Group Communication Science. During the course an overview will be provided of the various hazards in foods and their risks; toxins and contaminants, infections, foreign bodies, and allergens. Moreover the course provides an introduction into the basics of toxicology. In groups the students perform a hazard analysis, being a part of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP). Attention is also paid to the perception of risk, risk communication, the role of all stakeholders in food safety and communication between stakeholders. The course is evaluated by a written examination consisting of short open questions, and an individual assessment of the case study.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- know how to select relevant hazards, associated with raw materials and food products for various groups in society;
- use correct terminology of risks and hazards in food;
- perform a hazard analysis and select critical control points according to the HACCP-system of a simple food production process that is described in detail;
- understand the main toxic effects of compounds at organ level;
- be able to understand scientific literature describing toxic effects and use it for a toxicological risk evaluation;
- be able to identify the most relevant social psychological processes related to the perception of risks in the field of food safety;
- be aware of the most basic theoretical and practical aspects of risk communication.


The course is a mixture of lectures and a group assignment. Each group of students studies a food product, analysing the hazards and the risk associated with the specific product. The assignment is finalised with a presentation. In the assignment the varying perceptions of risks and food safety among the stakeholders are crucial.


- written examinations with open questions on the toxicology and microbiology parts of the course (75%);
- report and oral presentation of the assignment (25%).
Both parts the exam (both parts) and the case study must be passed with a minimum of 5.5.


The reader Risks associated with foods is available from the WUR-shop.

Compulsory for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc5AF
Restricted Optional for: MFSFood SafetyMScB: Food Law and Regulatory Affairs5AF