FHM-20306 Food Microbiology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised60
Course coordinator(s)dr. RR Beumer
Lecturer(s)dr. RR Beumer
WC Hazeleger
dr. ir. MJR Nout
dr. ir. MW Reij
prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering
Examiner(s)dr. RR Beumer
prof. dr. ir. MH Zwietering

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

FHM-22306 Advanced Food Microbiology


For the production and/or preparation of food products solid knowledge of micro-organisms and hygiene is necessary. Both negative (spoilage, disease) and positive aspects (fermentation) of micro-organisms will be dealt with. Important factors that influence growth of micro-organisms (e.g. water activity, pH, adding preservatives, heating, modified atmosphere packaging) will be discussed. The main bacterial food borne pathogens (e.g. Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes), viruses, parasites and fungi will be reviewed. Moreover, good manufacturing practices (including personal hygiene) and the principles of cleaning and disinfection and the application of genetic techniques will be explained.

In a four week practical course both spoilage organisms and pathogens will be isolated from various food products and environments using traditional and modern methods (PCR-techniques). Finally, the effect of several (bactericidal) treatments will be investigated.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- know and describe the (growth of) micro-organisms in several food products;
- know the relation between food-borne pathogens and food products;
- know the effects of food-borne pathogens after consumption;
- explain and apply good manufacturing practices;
- judge cleaning and disinfection procedures in the food industry;
- isolate important spoilage organisms and food-borne pathogens from food products and food production environments.


The course consists of two parts:
Lectures (about spoilage, food-borne pathogens, good manufacturing practices) and a four weeks practical course. Two weeks after the end of the practical course, students have to deliver a report, discussing the results of the experiments.


75% exam, 25% practical course (both parts must be passed with 5.5 or higher). The theoretical background of the laboratory classes can be included in the theory exam.


As theory book the book of MR Adams and MO Moss, Food Microbiology 3rd ed. will be used and a protocol book for laboratory work. Both are available at the WUR-Shop.

Compulsory for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc1AF
Restricted Optional for: MFSFood SafetyMSc1AF
Compulsory for: WUFTEBSc Minor Food Technology1AF