FHM-30306 Food Safety Risk Assessment


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work5
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. T Abee
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. IMCM Rietjens
dr. ir. MW den Besten
prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
prof. dr. T Abee
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
prof. dr. T Abee

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

TOX-30306 Food Toxicology; [[New course code]] Advanced Food Microbiology.

Continuation courses:

FHM-61312 Food Safety Management; Thesis FHM.


This course is a combination of formal lectures, case studies, laboratory classes and written and oral presentations. In the case studies, small groups of students will work on a risk assessment of different food products, which will be finalised by a group report. The course will provide an overview of the most important bacterial, myco- and fycotoxins, their presence and mechanisms of toxic action and detoxification mechanisms. Bacterial virulence mechanisms and host responses will be discussed, including dose-response relationships. The effect of processing (e.g. heating) on food safety, including survival of pathogens, formation of heterocyclic amines, PAKs and oxidation products are reviewed. Microbiological and Toxicological risk assessment will be discussed including predictive modelling techniques and genetic polymorphisms for detoxication in man. The microbiology practical will be conducted in an ML2 lab and corresponding safety regulations prevail. During the practical course experience with rapid detection of microbial toxins and with benchmark dose modelling of dose response curves of chemical contaminants will be obtained.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- describe the occurrence of foodborne pathogens and provide an inventory of their toxins and actions;
- debate the effect of processing on the occurrence of toxic compounds and the level of pathogens present;
- distinguish host responses to pathogens and their toxins;
- discuss the role of the gut microbiota in toxicological risks of food-borne chemicals;
- compare and apply dose response models;
- define and present tools for setting up (combined) microbiological and toxicological risk evaluations;
- explain the results of a combined microbiological and toxicological risk assessment in an oral presentation and a written report


The activities consist of:
- formal lectures;
- laboratory classes;  The practical  course will be held in ML2 labs and corresponding safety regulations prevail.
- written and oral presentations and case studies.


Final grading is based on a written exam (70%) with 50% open and 50% closed questions and the case study report (30%). For both elements a minimum pass mark of 5.5 is required.

 The grade for the case study report is valid for 5 years.


All course materials will be available in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMScA: Applied Food Safety5MO