Food microbiology and hygiene

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the fundamentals necessary for the assessment of safety and microbiological quality in foods. Knowledge of the experimental protocols for the determination of the main microbial groups and of some pathogens in food. Furthermore, the teaching provides the basis for the understanding of the basic concepts of hygiene and epidemiology, to safeguard the health of the community.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have the tools to identify the fate of microorganisms during food production and storage processes.He/she will be able to isolate, identify and count the main microorganisms present in food and recognize the main microbial spoilage that can occur during shelf-life. The student will also be able to describe situations where improper handling and storage can lead to food spoilage and contamination and identify microorganisms with a positive role and their effects in storage and fermentation processes. Finally he/she will be able to evaluate a prevention and prophylaxis plan for infectious diseases within catering contexts. To know how to collaborate in an epidemiological investigation aimed at recognizing the causes of an infection / intoxication / food poisoning in food service.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
General concepts: definition of hygiene, epidemiology, public health and health education.
Health planning and Italian health organization. Health education and health: the health conditions of the populations in the world and the promotion of health. Methodologies for prevention and health promotion. Epidemiology: definition, objectives and tools of epidemiology. Concept of risk and causal relationship. The epidemiology of infectious diseases. Transmission and prevention of infections. Specific prophylaxis of infectious diseases and vaccine-prophylaxis. Food risk and epidemiology of food-borne diseases. The organization of the national system of quality control of the food supply chain and the control in matters of food safety. Information networks and alert systems for infectious diseases and food-borne diseases both at national (ISS, ASL, ARPAV, IZS), and internationally (Ecdc, Efsa, Ewrs, Rasff, WHO) levels.
Microbial contamination in food. Factors influencing microbial growth. Principles of sanitization and sources of microbial contamination in the food production and distribution processes. Microorganisms with pro-technological role and as quality indicators. Pathogenic microorganisms and foodborne diseases. Microbial food spoilage. Microbiology of the main food products (milk and milk products, cereals and cereal products, meat and meat products, fruit and vegetable products, products with low aw, beverages, eggs). Micobiological analyses for the determination and identification of microorganisms in foods. (laboratory)
Prerequisites for admission
To possess adequate knowledge of calculus (Mathematics), biological transformations (General Biology and Applied Biochemistry) and the fundamentals of Microbiology and Food Processing Technology
Teaching methods
Professors will use lectures as the main teaching method, accompanied by laboratory practices (Food Microbiology Unit). The courses use e-learning teaching material present on the Ariel platform consisting of the slides discussed during the lectures. Attendance to lessons is strongly recommended
Teaching Resources
Slides provided by the teachers and supplemental documents available on the ARIEL platform
Recommended texts:
MICROBIOLOGIA DEI PRODOTTI ALIMENTARI - a cura di GA Farris, M Gobbetti, E Neviani, M Vincenzini - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2012, Milano
Assessment methods and Criteria
The verification of the acquired knowledge and skills takes place through a 10-minute presentation to the classroom of a topic related to the program with related discussion plus a final written test with multiple choice questions (Hygiene unit) and a written exam (Food Microbiology Unit) aimed at assessing the learning of the different topics listed in the program and the ability to apply the basic principles for the prevention and control of microorganisms along the food chain and in the restaurant and distribution area. The dates of the tests are communicated through the University application on-line system (UNIMIA). To take the exam, students must register before the deadline set in the system. Students with specific learning disabilities and or other disabilities are requested to contact the Professor via email at least 10 days before the exam date to agree on any individualized measures. Students with specific learning disabilities and with disabilities are requested to contact the Professor via email at least 10 days before the exam date to agree on any individualized measures.
In the email addressed to the teacher, the respective University services must be registered in CC: (for students with LD) and (for students with disabilities). The evaluation is expressed by a mark out of thirty (weighted average of the two teaching units) which is communicated to each student by automated e-mail from the University software.
Unita' didattica 1: igiene
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Zampiero Alberto
Unita' didattica 2: microbiologia degli alimenti
AGR/16 - AGRICULTURAL MICROBIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Laboratories: 24 hours
Lessons: 36 hours
Professor: Picozzi Claudia