Food Safety

Module summary

Module code: FOOD1025
Level: 7
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Richard Fuchs



The Module will allow the student to critically appraise a variety of issues associated with hazards in food. The characteristics of the main groups of hazards (biological, chemical and physical) and their management and control during the production of foods and feed, in both modern food processing plants and in less sophisticated production conditions, will be analysed and discussed. Students will understand the elements of national and international food control systems, the role that food safety legislation plays in these systems and the importance of risk assessment in risk analysis as a means of establishing realistic standards.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. critically reflect on the significance and inter-relationships of major food contaminants and related food borne illnesses with food;
2. critically assess the principles of the detection and determination of selected food contaminants;
3. formulate original ideas in a strategy for the control of food contamination within specified food production systems;
4. demonstrate an understanding of the role that hazard identification and control plays in safety management systems based upon Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles for food producers, processors, retailers and the service industries;
5. apply the principles of risk assessment as a component of risk analysis for pre-selected commodities.

Indicative content

• An overview of food safety;
• National Food Control Systems
• A description of food borne hazards including bacterial pathogens, viruses, moulds, mycotoxins and other chemical and physical contaminants;
• An overview of environmental contaminants;
• Factors affecting microbial growth;
• Food spoilage;
• Beneficial microorganisms;
• Naturally occurring intoxicants, anti-nutritional factors, and antimicrobial compounds in foods;
• Methods for the detection and determination of key food contaminants;
• Control measures of key food contaminants;
• The role of risk analysis in managing foodborne hazards.

Teaching and learning activity

Seminar sessions with presentations, group work, guided group analysis of published literature and reports, role play, practical and demonstration sessions, case-study seminars led by those with recent first-hand experience and group evaluation will be the principal modes of instruction.


Presentation: 25% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3.
Duration: 15 minutes.
Outline Details: presentation on a topic related to food safety set by the Module leader. This will be followed by a question/answer session.

Essay: 25% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Word Length: 2000 words.
Outline Details: essay developing the ideas put forward in the presentation.

Exam: 50% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Duration: 2 hours.
Outline Details: Unseen closed book exam.

Formative Assessment: Short essay on a food safety story reported in the media.