cod. 1010216

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
- Sergio GHIDINI
Academic discipline
Ispezione degli alimenti di origine animale (VET/04)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: FOOD HYGIENE AND MICROBIOLOGY

Learning objectives

The aim of the course is to allow the student (i) to know, (ii) to understand and (iii) to assess the actual risks about foods from animals. Subsequently, the aim of the course is to provide the students the knowledge and understanding on both the general requirements on hygiene, along the entire production, and the most important procedures that must be taken into account to control hazards. In this context, the student will be able to apply knowledge and understanding that are gained to recognize issues relating to health that are associated with the consumption of foods from animals. Moreover, the student will know how to manage a business issue through the proper application of the preventive system, based on the principles of “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” methodology.
The students who have attended the course will be able to deepen their knowledge in the field of food hygiene, by consulting own texts specialized journals or dissemination, even outside the topics covered during lectures.
The student should acquire the specific vocabulary related to hygiene of food. It is expected that, at the end of the course, students will be able to communicate, both orally and in writing the main contents of the course.
The student will be able to assess the impact of operational decisions concerning food hygiene.


There are no compulsory prerequisites.

Course unit content

The course aims to provide the student with a scientific and legislative approach to hygiene issues in the food field. The students will be provided with the basic concepts of hygiene, health, disease, transmission of diseases and their measurement in the populations. In addition, the student will be educated on the main health issues related to food (microbial, chemical, and physical contamination) and the Italian and European legislation in the food field (I and II Dublin descriptors). Knowledge is also provided on the prevention of contamination during the production, marketing, and storage of food, with the aim of providing the student with the skills necessary for drawing up self-control plans for food productions (III, IV and V descriptors of Dublin). During classroom simulations, students will learn how to independently elaborate a self-control plan for a food industry and its HACCP plan. Moreover, notions regarding indicators used to assess animal welfare in food-producing animals and the organization of official controls concerning the safety of food and products of animal origin will be provided to the students.

Full programme

Food hygiene

• general concepts of epidemiology and prevention;
• general epidemiology,
• concept of disease,
• epidemiology of infectious diseases,
• epidemiology of non-infectious diseases;
• prevention:
• levels of prevention,
• prevention of infectious diseases

Biological contamination

• microbial growth in food:
• Contamination: nature, origin, classification,
• main types of microorganisms found in food,
• intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect microbial growth in food.
Foodborne diseases of bacterial origin
• major viral infections (hepatitis A, norovirus).
• Prion diseases.
• Main parasites to food-borne:
• toxoplasmosis,
• trichinosis,
• taeniasis,
• echinococcosis,
• anisakiasis.
Chemical contamination
• toxicity of a substance,
• main categories of chemical contaminants and their origin: environmental contaminants derived,
• residues of primary production,
• contaminants acquired during processing and/or storage,
• toxic factors derived from natural: mycotoxins, biotoxins
• management of chemical contamination (PNR)
Physical contamination
• origin, prevention.
• Water used for human consumption
• definition,
• requirements,
• criteria of drinking water: hydrogeological, organoleptic, physical, chemical and microbiological.
Community legislation on food hygiene
HACCP: general principles
Sanitation practices
• surfaces in contact with food and process environments:
• requirements of the structures and layout of the environments of production and processing;
• definition of dirt;
• detergents;
• stages of the standard procedures of sanitation;
• monitoring and verification.
Staff hygiene
Principles of food defense against pests.
• Principles of Animal-based indicators on farms and the slaughterhouse in food-producing animals.
Official controls
• Role of the Official Veterinarian and Official Auxiliary
• Principles of food labeling


Slides of the lectures (available through the ELLY platform)
Foodborne Diseases
3rd Edition Christine Dodd Tim Aldsworth Richard Stein
Foodborne Pathogens and Food Safety Md. Latiful Bari and Dike O. Ukuku (CRC press)
Codex Alimentarius, International Food Standards (General Principle of Food Hygiene) Available at the link:

Teaching methods

Lectures. Use of videos.

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning outcomes will be assessed through a written evaluation that will determine the level of knowledge and understanding of the course content. In the event of changes in the actual pandemic situation, an oral examination might alternatively be carried out using Microsoft Teams.

Other information

The methods of teaching and testing may be subject to modifications depending on changes in the current pandemic situation. Any adjustment will be promptly communicated on Elly and / or on the course website.