Food Microbiology


This Unit aims to initiate students to the different areas of food microbiology, and its applications in the area of training in Nutritional Sciences.
 At the end of the unit the student should be capable of:
- know the positive and negative effects of the interaction between microorganisms and food (role in deterioration vs. food production).
- understand the concept of intestinal microbiota and its contribution to the physiological balance.
- know the main pathogens for humans transmitted through food.
- know the main sources of microbial contamination of food, as well as factors favoring microbial growth in them.
- know the principles of gastrointestinal infections diagnosis.
- know the principles of the laboratory work in food microbiology, including microbiological analyzes used in food, water, surfaces and handlers; and
- understand the prevention principles and control of foodborne infections

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof.ª Maria Jesus Chasqueira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





• Food Microbiology: An Introduction. Karl R. Matthews, Kalmia E. Kniel, Thomas J. Montville. Fourth Edition, 2017, ASM press.
• Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Fourth Edition. Michael P. Doyle, Robert L. Buchanan, 2013, ASM press.

Teaching method

Theoretical classes will be recorded, with audio, by lecturers of the academic unit, depending on their respective specializations. The form of lecture is expository, in which they address issues considered fundamental, providing clues to guide students for their own individual and more detailed study. At the end, there will be a short period to answer questions from the students.
The practical classes, lasting two hours per week, are organized into groups of about 9-10 students and will be supervised by a teacher. If classroom classes are not possible, they will be conducted on an e-learning basis.

Evaluation method

Evaluation of Practical Classes - 20%. The student will be excluded if the grade is less than 9.5
- Mandatory: Frequency of practical classes (two thirds of total attendance).
- Presentation of topics by students (1 presentation per student)

Written Exam - 60%
- 50 questions, of multiple choice, in which only one of the options is the correct one, lasting 63 minutes. The student will be excluded if the grade is less than 9.5.

Subject matter

- Microorganisms in food: deterioration vs. food production.
- Concept of intestinal microbiota and its contribution to physiological balance. Main genera
and species constituting the intestinal microbiota. Brief notion of dysbiosis and risk of disease.
- Main microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi) pathogenic to humans transmitted through food (distinguish between microorganisms that cause gastrointestinal pathology and microorganisms that have a gastrointestinal entry point but which affect other organs or systems).
- Main sources of food microbial contamination and factors that favouring microbial growth in food.
- The laboratory diagnosis of gastrointestinal infections.
- Microbiological analyses used in food, water, surfaces and handlers.
- The principles of prevention of foodborne infections


Programs where the course is taught: