Under European Food Safety Regulation 178/2002, Article 14 “Food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe or unfit for human consumption.” As bacteria are the major cause of food being unsafe, it is essential that those persons responsible for producing safe food have some knowledge of bacteria. Historically the majority of personnel who held these responsibilities studied a Food Science or Microbiology related discipline in a third level College or University. This however is no longer the case as many graduates with engineering, supply chain and financial backgrounds or non-graduates who have progressed to managerial positions are now in charge of food manufacturing processes and factories where the biggest threat to the business or the consumer is E. coli, Salmonella, Clostridia just to name a few.
If one is in charge of producing food that is governed by law where microbiological criteria are specified it is vital to know ones legal obligations. This course will give delegates an understanding of how bacteria grow, unique characteristics of some bacteria and most importantly how they can be controlled. A simple method of microbiological risk assessment will be explained so that risk based decisions can be made which will be in the interest of the business and consumer alike.
Case study exercises will be undertaken with particular focus on the WPC 80 Fonterra incident. This incident resulted from the lack of understanding of bacteria by production and technical staff alike and is one of the most significant food safety incidents and product recalls in recent years.