About the Food Safety Centre

The Food Safety Centre (FSC) is nationally and internationally recognised for research, teaching and training programs that encompass strategic science associated with food production systems, the supply chain, food safety, risk assessment, and systems biology of food-borne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. Importantly, the FSC extends this knowledge through tools used to manage safety and quality throughout complex global food systems.

The FSC has an international reputation for leadership in modelling the ecology of bacteria in foods, a discipline termed ‘predictive microbiology’. Increasingly, the FSC is also producing new insights about bacterial mechanisms that influence food stability. These findings include understanding the molecular mechanisms that cause food-borne bacteria to persist in food production environments, potentially leading to ‘smart’ processing methods to maximise food safety and quality. Also, staff and students are defining how food production systems influence the development of specific bacterial communities that influence meat spoilage, the safety of cheese, as well as the efficiency of fish and shellfish production systems.

The FSC’s international leadership in food microbiology is reflected in representation on a number of international panels and committees, including editorial boards for international journals, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the World Health Organisation, United Nation’s Food & Agricultural Organisation and the International Committee on the Microbiological Specification of Foods.

Interactions with the Australian food industry, including industry R&D funding bodies, private companies and government agencies, have resulted in a range of tools and technologies, such as the Oyster Refrigeration Index, the MLA Meat Refrigeration Index, the E. coli Inactivation Model, and the popular risk profiling tool, Risk Ranger. These science-based tools help food companies manage food safety and quality, while assisting public health bodies with developing outcome-based regulatory policy.

The FSC delivers world-class undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate teaching and training programs that include:

  • Bachelor of Science (Microbiology major and minor)
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology and Medical Research (Food Safety major)
  • BSc or BBiotech Honours (Microbiology)
  • MAppSc (Microbiology) Coursework
  • MAppSc (Food Safety) Coursework
  • MSc (Research)


To be a world-leading research and training centre in food microbiology that sustains, innovates and protects the safety and quality of Australia's food supply.


To conduct strategic and applied research of interest to a wide range of food industry sectors, with an emphasis on mechanisms of adaptation, resistance and persistence of food-borne pathogens, and through mathematical modelling of microbial food safety risk, to translate research outcomes into tools and systems that enhance food safety management practices.

Food Systems Centre Strategic Plan (PDF 528KB)

FSC Capability Statement (PDF 128KB)

Contact Details

Centre Leader and Associate Professor in Food Microbiology: John Bowman

Phone: +61 3 6226 6380


Food Safety Centre
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 54