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BIO3820 Food Microbiology

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Food Microbiology
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 019905 - Food Science and Biotechnology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Polly Burey

Other requisites

Recommended: BIO1810 and CHE2810 and CHE2820


The microbial load in food can be useful in production of food but can also be a source of contamination leading to food spoilage or food poisoning. The safety of food and its stability is of great importance and this course will provide a solid basis in food microbiology.


In this course you will extend on the knowledge gained from previous courses in this major and put this in the context of the microbial loads found in food. You will distinguish between the different microbial hazards that may be found in food and the use of microorganisms in the production of foods. You will expand your understanding of the microbiology of food, food-borne diseases, food spoilage and microbiological analytical techniques.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply expertise in food microbiology,
  2. Critically evaluate the impact of microbiology on production and spoilage of foods
  3. Critically assess the hazards associated with microbial contaminants
  4. Apply skills in generating strategies for improvement of microbial food safety.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Microbiology 20.00
2. Microbiology of food production 30.00
3. Microbiology of food spoilage 20.00
4. Food poisoning microorganisms 20.00
5. Techniques for detection of microorganisms in food 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Matthew, Karl R. and Kniel, Kalmia e. and Montville, Thomas J 2017, Food Microbiology: An Introduction, 4th edn.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Adams, M.R, Moss, M.O and McClure, P.J 2016, Food microbiology, 4th edn, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge UK.
Madigan MT, Martinko HM, Bender KS, Buckley DH and Stahl DA 2018, Brock Biology of Microorganisms, Global Edition 15th edn, Pearson Higher Ed, USA.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 58.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 81.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 100 20 30 Mar 2020
Mid Semester Online Quiz 100 20 21 Apr 2020
Assignment 2 100 20 25 May 2020
Take Home Exam 100 40 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing, drawing instruments and a non-programmable calculator into the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

  2. Students should be aware that the originality of any assignment submitted may be checked by the USQ service, "Turnitin". The student will be notified if an originality report is required with an assignment and students are encouraged to use Turnitin before submitting any assignment.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.

Date printed 19 June 2020