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Introduction to Food Microbiology FOOD 1021

Food Technology Course

International Fees

International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees. Exact cost will be calculated upon completion of registration.

Course details

Covers organisms that spoil our food, those we use to preserve and improve our food, and those associated with foods that can cause illness and disease. Discusses ways of preventing contamination and growth of microorganisms in our food. BCIT issues a statement of completion to those who achieve 70% pass grade.


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.



This course has been retired and is no longer offered. Find other Flexible Learning courses that may interest you.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

Module 1

The student should be able to:

  • Appreciate the ubiquitous nature of microorganisms.
  • List some useful benefits of microorganisms.
  • List how microorganisms can cause illness.
  • State why non-pathogenic microorganisms are undesirable in foods.

Module 2

The student should be able to:

  • Define metabolism, catabolism and anabolism.
  • Describe the three groups of macromolecules that are found in foods and therefore living cells.
  • Identify different structures of a bacterial cell and describe the function of each.
  • Define enzyme and state the purpose of an enzyme.

Module 3

The student should be able to:

  • Define the following bacterial types:
    • Lactic acid bacteria
    • Acetic acid bacteria
    • Butyric acid bacteria
    • Propionic acid bacteria
    • Proteolytic bacteria
    • Lipolytic bacteria
    • Saccharolytic bacteria
    • Pectinolytic bacteria
    • Thermophilic bacteria
    • Thermoduric bacteria
    • Psychrotrophic bacteria
  • List the three bacterial shapes.
  • Demonstrate the growth pattern of bacteria.
  • List the difference between bacteria, yeasts and molds and viruses.
  • List three foodborne viruses that can cause illness.
  • List five foods spoiled by yeasts and molds.
  • Define mycotoxins.
  • Name the scientific system for giving names to organisms.

Module 4

The student will be able to:

  • Define enzymes and state the general functions of enzymes.
  • List and discuss at least six factors that affect microbial growth.
  • Distinguish, (by definition), aerobic, anaerobic and facultative.
  • Discuss compounds that are inhibiting to microbial growth.
  • List three main contents of food that must be present for microbial growth.
  • Define all terms related to temperature and associated growth of microorganisms.
  • List the organisms targeted for heat distribution in milk, eggs and low acid canned foods.
  • Sketch, label and discuss the areas of a microbial growth curve.
  • Discuss water activity as it relates to control of microbial growth.

Module 5

The student should be able to:

  • Define the following terms:
    • Medium
    • Selective medium
    • Mixed culture
    • Single culture
    • Inoculum
    • Subculture
  • Give four possible reasons for the presence of high microbial counts in foods.
  • List three methods of enumerating microbes in food.
  • List four criteria of a valid food sample used for microbial analysis.

Module 6

The student should be able to:

  • List food preservation techniques for:
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Eggs
    • Dairy products
    • Meats.
  • Name the bacteria used to ferment dairy and meat products.
  • Explain how bacteria can preserve food.
  • List the two methods used in heat preservation of meats.
  • List the factors that determine heat treatments given canned meat products.
  • Explain the importance of relative humidity in meat storage.
  • Explain how meat is preserved via drying.
  • Explain how smoking affects meat.
  • Explain the reasoning behind multiple preservations being applied to the same meat product.
  • Distinguish the meanings of shelf-stable, semi-perishable and perishable.
  • List the factors affecting microbial growth in foods.
  • Discuss four types of meat spoilage due to molds.
  • Discuss types of aerobic and anaerobic meat spoilage.

Module 7

The student will be able to:

  • List the attributes of high quality meats.
  • Identify the two main concerns when microorganisms are associated with foods.
  • List the general sources of the microorganisms found in meats.
  • Discuss methods used to prevent contamination of the food from each source of microorganisms.
  • List the design criteria of food processing equipment as it relates to prevention of microbial contamination.

Module 8

The student should be able to:

  • Define foodborne disease.
  • Distinguish the difference between a food intoxication and a food infection.
  • List the organisms responsible for the three most common foodborne illnesses.
  • List the symptoms of the three most common foodborne illnesses.
  • List the foods with which Salmonella may be associated.
  • List conditions necessary for a Staphylococcus food poisoning.
  • List the foods associated with C. perfringens.
  • Describe conditions associated with botulism poisonings.
  • Discuss the control of foodborne illnesses.

Module 9

The student will be able to:

  • List the objectives of a plant cleaning program.
  • Define soil as it relates to the food processing industry and list the four major components of soil.
  • Identify the difference between soft and hard water and state which is preferable for cleaning.
  • Define the following terms:
    • Emulsification
    • Saponification
    • Rinsability
    • Wetting agents
    • Deflocculation
  • List requirements necessary for removal of each of the four basic soil types.
  • State the difference between sanitation and sterilization.
  • List the three methods of sanitizing food processing equipment and the parameters of each for successful sanitation.
  • List the four types of chemical sanitizers and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • List all factors that influence sanitizer activity.

Module 10

The student will be able to:

  • List the five areas that cooperate to maintain an in-plant microbial control program.
  • Define in-plant microbiological control.
  • List the role of management in an in-plant microbiological control program.
  • List the seven responsibilities of the laboratory in the microbial control program.
  • List the five areas of routine inspection as it relates to a microbial control program.
  • List the two techniques used to monitor equipment sanitation.
  • List the responsibilities of process control as it relates to cleanliness and sanitation.
  • List the results of a successful in-plant microbial control program.

Effective as of Fall 2003

Related Programs

Introduction to Food Microbiology (FOOD 1021) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Business + Media

  1. Accounting
    Bachelor of Accounting Full-time/Part-time


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