Course Title: Perform microbiological techniques in the food industry

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: ONPS5214

Course Title: Perform microbiological techniques in the food industry

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5184 - Diploma of Food Science & Technology

Course Contact: Sam Cutri

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4876

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

VBP040 - Apply principles of occupational health & safety to the food industry’, VBP043 - Apply an understanding of the food processing industry, VBP044 - Apply principles of food spoilage and control

Course Description

This unit provides an introduction to food microbiology. It covers the skills and knowledge required to perform generic microbiological laboratory techniques.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP035 Perform microbiological techniques in the food industry


1. Prepare for safe microbiological work using aseptic techniques

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Work area and equipment are selected for the safe handling of materials that may contain micro-organisms.
1.2 Protective apparel is worn.
1.3 Correct disinfection procedures are applied to work areas before, and after use.
1.4 Relevant emergency equipment is selected, for timely response to microbiological accidents.
1.5 Standard precautions, when handling biological materials, are applied.
1.6 The production and release of aerosols are minimized.
1.7 Spills are cleaned and reported.
1.8 Hands are washed before and after laboratory work and when contamination is suspected.
1.9 Biohazardous materials and other laboratory wastes are disposed of in accordance with enterprise procedures.


2. Identify the structure and function of cells and their components

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Types of animal, plant and microbial cells are identified.
2.2 The structure of cells and their components and functions are identified


3. Process microbiological samples

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Thin smears of samples for subsequent staining are prepared and stained.
3.2 Liquid films of specimens, for direct observation, are prepared.
3.3 Relevant samples are concentrated to facilitate microscopy.


4. Use a microscope correctly.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Stereo and compound microscopes are set up correctly, and causes of variations in image quality are identified.
4.2 Appropriate methods for cleaning and storing microscopes, are identified
4.3 Dry, wet and stained microbiological specimens are correctly examined.


5. Apply aseptic techniques correctly to cultivate and isolate micro-organisms

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Broths, slopes, and plates of typical media are prepared.
5.2 Aseptic transfers of micro-organisms to prepared liquid and solid media are performed.
5.3 Bacteria are streaked onto agar plates to isolate single colonies using aseptic technique.
5.4 Temperature conditions and gaseous environments are selected which are suitable for the growth of a range of common micro-organisms.


6. Estimate the number of micro-organisms in food and water samples

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Samples are prepared for testing.
6.2 Serial dilutions are accurately and aseptically carried out.
6.3 Bacterial growth in the sample is estimated and recorded
6.4 The bacterial load of the sample is calculated and the results reported.


7. Perform and interpret tests to assist in the identification of common bacterial genera.

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Stained specimens are selected and prepared to demonstrate features and cellular characteristics of major bacterial groups
7.2 Pure cultures selected from common bacterial genera are prepared.
7.3 Tests are performed on pure cultures to assist in the identification of major bacterial groups


8. Identify methods for the control of growth of microorganisms

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Chemical and physical methods available for controlling microbial growth are identified
8.2 The advantages and disadvantages of the identified methods are established.
8.3 The most effective method for sterilisation or control of a given micro-organism is determined for a specified situation.


9. Identify the quality assurance procedures commonly used in a food testing laboratory.

Performance Criteria:

9.1 The controls used to monitor accuracy and precision of
results in a microbiological laboratory are established
9.2 All tests are performed in accordance with enterprise quality procedures
9.3 All test data is recorded and reported in accordance with enterprise quality procedures

Learning Outcomes

This is a competency based program

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities for this course will include:
• Teacher directed face-to face delivery of lessons
• Whole class Discussion
• Pair/group discussion
• Small group workshops
• Revision quizzes
• Worksheets
• Laboratory experiments
• Record keeping of experiments
• Presentations
• Research activities

Teaching Schedule

Outline Safety Prac 1 Safety
Introduction Prac 2 Aseptic Technique
Cells Prac 3 Microbial Contamination
Cells Prac 4 Microscopy
Microscope Prac 5 Staining
Growth Prac 6 Media Preparation
Growth Prac 7 Direct Microscopic Count
Fungi Prac 8 Microbes in Soil
Viruses Prac 9 Microbes in Water
Control Prac 10 Plate Count
Review Prac 11 Antibiotics Testing
Review Prac 12 Membrane Filtration

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Madigan, Michael T., 1949- 2006.
Brock biology of microorganisms / Michael T. Madigan, John M. Martinko. 11th ed. 579 MADI
Prescott, Lansing M. c2005.
Microbiology / Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley, Donald A. Klein. 6th ed.579 PRES Tortora, Gerard J. c1986.
Microbiology : an introduction / Gerard J. Tortora, Berdell R. Funke, Christine L. Case. 2nd ed. 576 TORT

The “Bad Bug Book” –
U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Foodborne pathogenic microorganisms
Medical Microbiology- -
Neal Chamberlain’s Look at the Microbial World
Lots of information about infectious diseases, photo gallery
Microbiology Webbed Out -
An entire microbiology book on the web
World Lecture Hall -
Course materials for any subject including many science fields.
Quizzes, articles, web links, etc.
The Biology Project – University of Arizona -
Information about cell biology, human biology, immunology, etc.
American Society for Microbiology (ASM) – Microbe Library –
Pictures of microorganisms, articles, etc.
The Microbiology Place –
The website that accompanies the text (Microbiology: An Introduction, 7th ed. - Tortora) Quizzes, articles, web links, etc.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exam

Assessment Tasks

Practicals 50%  Due  9/3/12

Test 50%  Due 6/6/12

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview