Course code Vete4044

Credit points 2

Foodborne Diseases

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for laboratory classes24

Date of course confirmation30.03.2016

Responsible UnitInstitute of Food and Environmental Hygiene

Course developer

author Pārtikas un vides higiēnas institūts

Aivars Bērziņš

Dr. med. vet.

Prior knowledge

Vete2009, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology I

Vete2024, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology II

Vete3025, Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology III

Course abstract

During the course students are acquainted with the basics of food microbiology, with different agents causing foodborne infections (Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Listeria monocytogenes etc.) and intoxications. They study properties of these microorganisms, conventional detection methods in foods as well as epidemiology of those microorganisms.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

• Knowledge includes understanding of prevention and control of biological hazards in the food chain to protect human health. Basic understanding of investigation of foodborne outbreaks, monitoring and surveillance of foodborne zoonoses – 2 tests.
• Skills includes capability to carry out of foods, environmental sampling, sample preparation and microbiological examination of foods. Students are required to recognize major biological hazards in food chain, including different food groups. Capability to advise food processors on presentation and control of foodborne hazards – laboratory works.
• Competences includes understanding of general microbiology in the food chain, microbial contamination at all parts of the food chain, factors influencing survival, growth and inactivation of foodborne pathogens, microbial behavior in foods, understanding of basic food spoilage mechanisms, understanding of bacterial and viral foodborne infections and their epidemiology – KEGA work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Subject of study, prevalence of food infections and their relevance in the world – 1h lecture.
2. Introduction to food microbiology, microorganisms in foods of animal and plant origin. Principles of food testing in laboratory – 1h lecture and 2h of laboratory works.
3. Internal and external factors affecting the growth of micro-organisms in food products – 2h lecture.
4. Quantitative and qualitative methods in food microbiology. Samples and sampling – 2h laboratory work.
5. Indicator microorganisms, their role in food microbiology – 4h laboratory work.
6. Foodborne infection caused by Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. Salmonella spp. detection in foods – 1h lecture and 5h laboratory work.
7. Foodborne infection caused by Campylobacter spp. Campylobacter spp. detection in food – 1h lecture, 5 laboratory work.
8. Foodborne infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes, detection of L. monocytogenes in food – 1h lecture, 5h laboratory work.
9. Pathogenic E.coli in food, EHEC, EPEC, EIEC, ETEC, foodborne infections caused by Yersinia enterocolitica – 2h lecture and 5h laboratory work.
10. Food toxicosis-Clostridium botulinum; Staphylococcus aureus detection in foods – 2h lecture, 4h laboratory work.
11. Foodborne infections caused by Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus.
12. Foodborne infectious agents in food of marine origin; Vibrio spp.
13. Viral foodborne Infections; Molecular biology methods in food microbiology (PCR, PFGE). 2h lectures, 2h laboratory works.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Attendance of 80% of lectures and laboratory works. Successfully completed two tests, KEGA work and examination.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Clinical and Epidemiological Case Analysis (KEGA) work is a case study of the foodborne outbreak, in which the student should study in-depth analysis of the literature. The work consists of the following chapters: Epidemiology of foodborne pathogen; Material and Methods for investigation of foodborne outbreak; Results; Discussion; Conclusions, and References. At least 5 research publications must be used in the work. KEGA should consist of at least 10 pages and should be submitted in written form. The work must be submitted within the deadline set by the course supervisor.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Student skills are assessed in accordance with the procedures specified in the tasks of the practical work.
The study course tests and KEGA work are evaluated in accordance with the criteria of the 10 point system scale indicated in the LLU Study Regulations. To take the exam, all tests and KEGA must be successfully completed.
The exam is organized in written form and consists of test questions (20) and open questions (10) in a 10-point system, the lowest successful grade is given if 50% of all questions are correctly answered;

Compulsory reading

1.Lelieveld H.L.M., Mostert M.A. Handbook of hygiene control in the food industry. Cambridge : Woodhead publishing limited, 2005. 720 p. Pieejams:
2.Nikolajeva V. Pārtikas mikrobioloģija. 2.izdevums. Rīga: LU Akadēmiskais apgāds, 2011. 127 lpp.
3. Jay J.M. Modern food microbiology. 6th ed. An Aspen Publication, 2000. 625 p.
4. Forsythe S.J. The microbiology of safe food. 2nd ed. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.; Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 476 p.

Further reading

1. Baltess V. Pārtikas ķīmija. Ceturtais izdevums. R.:Latvijas Universitāte. 1998.- 478 lpp. 2. Baltiņš M. Lietišķā epidemioloģija. R.: Zinātne. 2003.- 354 lpp. 3. Forsythe S.J., Hayes P.R. Food Hygiene, microbiology and HACCP. 3d ed. Gaithersburg (Maryland) : Aspen Publications, 1998. 449 p. Pieejams:,-S.J.-Forsythe

Periodicals and other sources

1. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Published by Elsevier Science. ISSN 0168-1605. Pieejams
2. Food Control. Published by Elsevier Science. ISSN 0956-7135. Pieejams:
3. Journal of Food Protection. International Association for Food Protection. ISSN 0362-028X 4. Meat Science. Published by Elsevier Science. ISSN: 0309-1740. Pieejams LLU tīklā:


Compulsory course of study programme Veterinary medicine.