Food Inspection for Government Officials

Module summary

Module code: FOOD1030
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Linda Nicolaides



The Module will provide insight into the operational issues that occur at Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in the UK and EU to ensure that foods imported are fit for purpose. Students will understand how the food industry in third countries meet international requirements for export. An understanding of the importance of using preventive systems to ensure the production of a safe and wholesome food supply, compliant with international legislative requirements will be gained. Students will experience practical food inspection, including an understanding of factors which contribute to a consignment being fit for purpose, i.e. safe for human consumption, and how decisions are made by officials working at BIPS.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. reflect on the significance of practices followed in Competent Authorities and Border Inspection Posts;
2. reflect on the implications that a preventive system designed to improve operations in country will have on the quality of food in relation to requirements to conform with the export market;
3. apply the knowledge required to demonstrate if a commodity or food product is safe for human consumption;
4. critically assess the range of alternative technologies and approaches available to assess the safety and quality of food;
5. formulate and implement innovative action plans for improving the growing/capture/handling of food along the supply chain.

Indicative content

• Overview of examples of the food chain, practical and theoretical aspects on the harvest and handling of primary materials along the supply chain from the farm to the fork;
• Legislative requirements for the import of food;
• Procedures and practices used to inspect the fitness of food;
• Assessment of quality attributes of food;
• The role of the Food Inspector/Environmental Health Officer.

Teaching and learning activity

• Lectures on the theoretical topics covering the subject matter, including study materials and case studies;
• Seminars and interactive sessions exploring issues of the spoilage of food and fishery products;
• Practical activities based upon case studies;
• Visits to local food producers and processors;
• Visit to Billingsgate Fish Market and local Border Inspection Posts.


Report:50% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning outcomes: 3, 4 & 5.
Word Length: 2000 words.
Outline Details: Report on case studies in an area identified by the student.

Blog: 50% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.
Duration: 10 minute blog.
Outline Details: Video presentation on a topic identified by the Module leader.

Formative Assessment: Quiz and video blog.