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Basic Food Microbiology

Time limit: 45 days

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Full course description

Meet your Instructor

Dr. Pratik Banerjee is a food microbiologist and food safety expert. He has over 10 years of working experience in the areas of biosafety and biotechnology. He is the head of the Molecular Microbiology and Environmental Laboratory at the University of Memphis. His laboratory is engaged in interdisciplinary research on food microbiology and food safety, connecting both detection and intervention strategies. Every summer, he conducts a hands-on food safety workshop for a non-technical audience and high school students.


Understanding the basics of microbial contamination issues in foods and food production facilities is one of the most important aspects to ensure implementation of better food safety practices. The course is structured as a combination of several modules covering overview of historical development of food microbiology and food safety, classification of microorganisms associated with food and their sources, growth and survival of microorganisms in food products, factors for microbial growth in food/food processing environments, etc.

Course Goals:

    1. Teach basic concepts of biological and microbial hazards associated with food products and processing facilities.
    2. Identify the factors that affect the survival and growth of microorganism and the conditions of growth in food products.

Learning Outcomes:

    • Sequence in chronological order the historical growth of food microbiology as a scientific discipline and its association with food safety.
    • Detect 3 microorganisms that are associated with foods
    • Describe 3 methods of classification of microbes in foods
    • List 3 growth conditions of microorganisms.
    • Identify 3 factors associated with growth and prevalence of microorganisms.
    • Summarize in writing 3 sources of microorganisms found in different types of food and food products.

 This course is free and is 0.3 CEU.