cod. 1011415

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
8 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The student will be trained in the following topics:
- hygienic aspects related to milking, transport, storage and processing of milk;
- microbial agents that are indicators of poor hygiene in milk processing
- microbial agents that are indicators of faecal contamination of milk
- pathogens present in milk and milk products
- main transmissible toxins through consumption of milk and milk products
- microbiological criteria for milk and milk products laid down in national and European legislation
The course also provides the essential elements related to voluntary and regulated certification, to the compulsory and voluntary aspects of the labelling of food of Animal Origin, and to the elements of traceability and retraceability in the company and in the supply chain.
The student will be familiar with the main certification schemes and the basic principles, rules, requirements and operational methods needed to deal with audit activities.
Furthermore, the student will be able to understand the elements inherent to legislative and optional food labelling obligations.
Finally, the student will be able to orientate himself/herself within the traceability systems of the main dairy chains.


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Course unit content

1) Hygienic aspects of raw milk at the farm (EC Reg. 853/2004)
2) Raw milk: criteria of EC Reg. 853/2004
3) Study of the main zoonoses linked to the consumption of milk and milk products
Contamination of milk and milk products by Staphylococcus aureus
Contamination of milk and milk products by Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli
Pathogens in milk and milk products: Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, thermotolerant Campylobacter, Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Bacillus cereus
4) Aflatoxins in milk and milk products
5) Microbiological criteria for dairy products (EC Reg. 2073/2005)

A. Traceability
1) Regulatory framework
2) Definitions of traceability and retraceability
3) The RASFF system, Withdrawal - Recall, Alert
4) Traceability Testing and Mass Balance
5) Practical Applications

B. Labelling
1) Labelling Regulations
Mandatory information
B2B products
B2C products
Voluntary information
GMO / Organic information
Allergen information
Place of Production
2) Labelling of Origin
3) Animal Welfare Labelling
4) Labelling for export products
5) Fundamentals of Nutritional Labelling
C. Certification
1) Introduction to company self-control
2) The HACCP system
3) Voluntary Certifications
Introduction to Certifications
Product Certifications
Process Certifications
Chain Certifications from primary production (livestock farming) to the final producer / consumer
Main ISO Schemes, International certifications and large-scale retail trade schemes (BRC, IFS, TESCO, Marks & Spencer, etc.), Technical regulations
The certification process
Authorities in charge of controls and certification costs
4) Regulated certifications (DOP IGP)
Main Protected Productions
Responsibilities of the FBO
Role of the Consortia - Control Plans
Certification bodies and related controls (CSQA, OCQPR, etc.)
Accreditation Bodies and Authorities (MIPAAF, ICQRF, Accredia)

5) The concepts of Inspection and Audit
Overview of the ISO 19011 standard
First, second and third party audits
The figure of the auditor and related qualifications
The Inspection Verification Manager (ICR)
Consequences of inspections
NC and NC management

Full programme

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PDF presentaions of the lessons -

- Igiene e Tecnologia degli Alimenti (Colavita Ed. ), Casa editrice PVI, 2023

- Igiene nei processi alimentari (Paparella, Schirone, Visciano Eds.), Casa editrice Hoepli, 2023

International standards: BRC and IFS (PDF downloadable free of charge from their websites)

The European standards mentioned during the course can be consulted at

Teaching methods

Power point presentations provided to students.
Practical training in laboratory of microbiology.
Preparation of HACCP plans adapted to dairy production.
Verification of commercial product labels

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination with ten multiple-choice questions, five of which concerning the module "Hygiene and quality of dairy products" and five concerning the module "Traceability, labelling and certification of dairy products".
Each correct answer will be awarded 3 points, giving a total (10 correct answers) of 30 points. Wrong answers will not count towards the final mark. The examination is considered passed if the student achieves an overall mark of 18/30 (6 correct answers in the two tests). The maximum mark is 30/30 (10 correct answers in the two tests).
The two tests will take place in the same examination session.

Other information

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