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Food Microbiology 101

Understanding microorganisms that threaten food safety including those that cause food poisoning and food spoilage is fundamental to the production, handling and service of safe and wholesome food products that do not pose significant public health risks to consumers. Those tasked with ensuring food safety in both food manufacturing and food service sectors will benefit from having a basic understanding of the types and characteristics of microorganisms, the environments in which they thrive and how they can be detected and monitored. With a reported 4.1 million cases of food associated gastroenteritis in Australia between 2006–2010, including 306,000 hospitalisations and 60 related deaths, there has never been a better time to learn about food microbiology.

Who should attend the course?

  • Are you a regulatory food safety auditor registered with the Department of Health (WA) or aspiring to become one?
  • Are you currently working for a catering contractor servicing the mining industry?
  • Are you working in the food and beverage sector of the hospitality industry?
  • Are you responsible for the preparation and service of food to vulnerable populations as defined by Standard 3.3.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code? (Day care centres, Aged care, hospitals etc.)
  • Are you a registered food business?

If this is you and you would like to learn or broaden your understanding of food microbiology, then this 2-day evidence-based Food Microbiology Short Course is for you. The course will cover the basics of food safety microbiology and arm you with the information you need to effectively audit and evaluate the microbiological compliance of food safety plans, HACCP plans and food safety operations with the requirements of the Food Safety Act 2008 (WA) and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

This course offers a “Laboratory/Lecture format”, with interactive discussions and lectures, as well as first-hand experience in carrying out the aseptic collection and handling of food samples, common microbiological plating and detection assays and the interpretation of food laboratory analytical reports. This short course was developed at the request of the Department of Health (WA) and recommended for those intending to become regulatory food safety auditors.

Course content

This evidence-based course covers the following topics:

  • Microorganisms in foods
  • Factors affecting microbial growth and survival
  • Foodborne pathogens and food poisoning
  • Food safety legislation and the AS/NZ Food Standards Code
  • Food sampling, storage and transportation
  • Microbial control and inactivation in food systems
  • Aseptic collection and handling of food samples including surface swabs
  • Laboratory induction
  • Indicator organisms and their value
  • Microbiological testing
  • Pathogen detection methods




This course will be delivered over 2 days (Saturday and Sunday).


On campus

Next start date

13th – 14th February 2021


Joondalup campus, room TBA


Register here

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