This unit will provide students with an understanding of the characteristics of commonly encountered foodborne pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.  It will cover the ways in which these pathogens contaminate and survive in foods, possibly produce toxins and subsequently cause disease.  The importance of indicator organisms and potential foodborne pathogens will also be covered.  Furthermore, the role of legislation and Australian and international standards relating to microbiological criteria for foods, control and prevention of food-borne diseases will also be examined to include hygiene, sanitation and waste treatment.

Unit details

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HPC1000 - Introduction to Human Nutrition and Food

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Assess the interactions between microorganisms and food, and factors influencing their growth and survival;  
  2. Explain the significance and activities of microorganisms in food;  
  3. Summarise the characteristics of foodborne, waterborne and spoilage microorganisms, and methods for their isolation, detection and identification;  
  4. Advise why microbiological quality control programmes are necessary in food services and production; and  
  5. Determine the effects of fermentation in food production and how it influences the microbiological quality and status of the food product.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written research report (1000 words) 25%
Report Practical work - two (2) lab reports (each approx. 500 words) 25%
Examination Final examination (2 hours) 50%

Required reading

Fundamental Food Microbiology 5th ed.
Bibek R., Arun B. (2013)
Boca Raton: CRC press

Food Microbiology: An Introduction 3rd ed.
Montville, T.J., Karl R. Matthews, K.R., Kalmia E. Kniel, K.E., (2012)
Washington: VA, USA

Modern Food Microbiology 7th ed.
Jay, J.M., Loessner, M.J., Golden, D.A. (2005)
New York: Springer Aspen Publishers Inc.

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