bacteria structure

Food Microbiology Basics

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Microorganisms are everywhere. In this course you will learn what they about, the “good” and “bad”, and how to control them, kickstarting your Food Microbiology journey. Read more & Sign up.

Disclaimer: This course provides you with a basic understanding of food microbiology. In order to make safe food you will need to comply with relevant legislation and guidelines and execute proper testing and risk analyses. We cannot be held responsible for actions taken based on the content of this course.

What will you learn?

molds on aquafaba

We start with some introductions

We’ll introduce you to bacteria, molds and yeasts, the microorganisms of focus in this course. We’ll explain how they differ from each other and we’ll dig into their basic structures and characteristics.

bacteria structure

The “good” and the “bad”

Next up we’ll look into several specific microorganisms that are very common in food. We’re making a distinction between the ‘good’, those microorganisms we need and use to make food (better), and the ‘bad’, those microorganisms that make us sick. We will look specifically at when and where they thrive.

bowl of yeast

Controlling it all

Lastly, we’ll look at how to control all these microorganisms. How do we prevent some from growing and provide the perfect environment for others to thrive!

If you'd like to learn more about microbiology, there are various useful resources to go through. Some of these we've used extensively for putting together this course. If you are looking for more specific disease details of pathogenic micro organisms several of these resources may help you out.

When it comes to food disease and prevention there's a well known book, made by the FDA outlining all the most important food pathogens. It's appropriately called the 'bag bug book' and can be downloaded online.

For those speaking German, we'd recommend 'Lebensmittelmikrobiologie', a nice concise book discussing a wide variety of topics. Also a source I've used for this course, but with a lot more detail.

The resource we used (amongst others) to summarize the properties of most (pathogenic) micro organisms. The page on pathogenic micro organisms of UNL Food. is a great resource to find more information on bacteria in food.