Food Microbiology Foundation Courses

Many people are working in food safety or food quality with little or no scientific training. Even those with formal studies in perhaps Chemistry, find themselves responsible for implementing a HACCP system or a food safety management system. In order to be effective in such roles they need to understand something about micro-organisms. One of the hazard types in a hazard analysis is micro-organisms. How does one complete the hazard analysis if you do not know anything about micro-organisms?   After all these are the organisms responsible for all sorts of food poisoning outbreaks which result in people being admitted to hospital or perhaps even death.

Learning outcomes

Food Microbiology Foundations is a course created to help these very people. It provides a basic understanding of how microbes live and grow in our foods. Bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning outbreaks but some attention also needs to be given to viruses and moulds. Delegates will learn about the key differences in the anatomy and growth of the different types of micro-organisms.

After attending Food Microbiology Foundations, delegates will be better equipped to read and understand the Specifications from suppliers, the Certificates of Analysis received with raw materials, monthly laboratory reports and the hazards within their food factories. Such training is suitable for shift supervisors, laboratory or quality personnel or other team members involved in the administration of a food safety management system. This course ends with a module on the world of sampling and swab techniques they may see in practice in the food environments.   At the end of the training they will have mastered a whole new vocabulary formerly only understood by Microbiologists.


The types of pathogens that occur in various foodstuffs and can cause food poisoning are also studied. To make this study simpler, each family or group of pathogens is looked at in terms of how they grow, where they come from in the first place and how food technologists can control such growth.  The control is usually linked to heat treatments, cleaning procedures, or the initial formulation of a product. Then delegates will learn about specific case studies linked to specific organisms. Such stories of what has happened in real food factories or food catering establishments will make it much easier to remember the different types of pathogens. Some such incidents have become defining moments in the development of food safety systems as we know them today. These pathogenic families include: Salmonella, Clostridium, Escherichia, Listeria and Bacillus.

Training Options

This course is particularly relevant to employees in food sectors with higher microbial risks such as poultry processing, dairy products or ready-to-eat foods

Beginner’s Food Microbiology can be offered for a half day covering only the types and anatomy of organisms.