Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Julie Woods (Nutrition & Dietetics) & Dr Mohamed Mohideen (Microbiology)


The unit is based on the awareness that micro-organisms play an important role in food and nutrition. It addresses the current state of food microbiology in industrial and domestic applications, the risks associated with food handling practices in food borne illness control, and the regulatory systems current in Australia at the three levels of Government. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is examined as a control mechanism for the prevention of food borne illness. The clinical outcomes of microbial contamination for selected at risk groups in the population, and methods to prevent the transmission of contamination are examined.


On successful completion of the unit the student will understand:

  1. food as an ideal niche for microorganisms;

  1. microorganisms involved in food spoilage;

  1. microorganisms as the causative agent of food borne disease due to food contamination;

  1. ideal food handling practices to prevent microbial contamination and/or growth during processing, handling, storage and distribution;

  1. methods of preservation of food at home and commercially;

  1. traditional and industrial fermentation methods;

  1. the concepts of risk assessment, management and communication for food borne disease;

  1. the current regulatory system in Australia and other similar countries (US and European Union);

  1. lactic acid bacteria and other starter cultures including the commercial potential of microorganisms in the food industry;

  1. probiotic organisms and their applications;

  1. laboratory skills required in culturing and identifying microorganisms;

  1. microbiological testing of food and water supplies;

  1. evaluation of food borne outbreaks reported in the popular press and in scientific publications;

  1. hazard analysis critical control points; and

  1. the clinical risks associated with microbial contamination in selected sub groups.


Mid-semester test: 10%
Examinations: 50%
Practical reports and quizzes: 10%
Oral presentations: 10%
Laboratory practical skills: 5%
Assignment: 15%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Julie Woods

Contact hours

4 hours per week (2 hrs lecture + 2 hrs practical/tutorial)


BMS1021, and either BMS1062 or BIO1022