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:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

FHM-35806 Advanced Food Microbiology;
TOX-30306 Food Toxicology.

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 most relevant food-borne pathogens and 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 and dose modelling of pathogens. 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. The microbiology practical will be conducted in an ML2 lab and corresponding safety regulations prevail.  During the microbiological practical course, experience with rapid detection of microbial toxins will be obtained. In the toxicology practicals experience 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:
- have an overview of the occurrence and characteristics of food-borne pathogens;
- 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 gut microbiota in toxicological risks of food-borne chemicals;
- compare and apply dose response models;
- build models to estimate microbiological and toxicological risks;
- interpret and compare risk estimates;
- formulate advice taking into account microbiological and toxicological risk estimates in a written report.


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


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 3 years.Examiners have the right to adjust group mark for individual group members in the case study.


All course materials will be available in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: MFSFood SafetyMScA: Spec. A - Applied Food Safety5MO