Module Overview

Public Health Microbiology

This module describes the nature and characteristics of significant foodborne pathogens and the fundamental laboratory techniques used to isolate, enumerate and identify them. Students will be introduced to the principles underlying the growth of microorganisms in food stuffs and will examine factors influencing the growth, survival and death of such microorganisms and their impact on the human host. 

The aim of this module is to: develop an understanding of particular microbial agents of foodborne disease and their impact on the host. To develop laboratory skills in microbiology by applying international standard methods to isolate, enumerate and identify foodborne micro-organisms


Module Code

BIOL 3604

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Lecture programme:

Foodborne hazards; current food poisoning statistics

Food safety control measures

Microbiological aspects of HACCP

Nature and development of microbiological criteria

Occurrence and control of existing and emerging foodborne pathogens

Occurrence and control of BSE and prion disease

Control of microbial growth during food handling and processing

Occurrence and control of spoilage bacteria and fungi

Bacterial and Fungal toxins

Nature of bacterial endospores and the sporulation cycle

Prevalence detection and control of foodborne viruses

Epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of food borne disease

Practical programme:

Laboratory practicals will be selected from the following:

1. Microbiological examination of samples using standard techniques: General laboratory practices, including the aseptic preparation, a dilution series of the homogenate & total viable counting. Isolation screening techniques.2.The isolation, enumeration and identification of target pathogens and indicator organisms, using standard protocols for their examination, to include Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Enterobacteriaceae, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli and coliforms.

Lectures, discussions, case studies, problem-solving exercises, video, laboratory and team- laboratory work

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40