Courses & Units

Food Microbiology KLA396

KLA396 may form part of a microbiology major in the BSc degree course; together with three or more of CJA313; CJA314; KLA304; KLA346; KLA392; KLA394; KLA304 (if taken in conjunction with KLA396) and/or KLA398.  Interested students who have not undertaken one of the nominated prerequisite units should contact the Unit Co-ordinator to discuss possible entry to the unit.


This unit considers the role of microorganisms in the production, deterioration and safety of foods, from both ecological and physiological perspectives, including the effect of temperature, pH, water activity and other factors on the growth and decline of microbial populations in foods. Specific topics include:

- microbial physiology and ecology relevant to foods
- microbial spoilage processes and their inhibition
- beneficial microbial fermentations (including other, non-food, biotechnological examples)
- microbial hazards associated with foods and molecular physiology and ecology of food-borne pathogens
- and a brief introduction to current approaches to food safety assurance including HACCP, detection methods, quantitative risk assessment and predictive microbiology (n.b., these topics are covered in greater detail in KLA394/602).

The unit includes practical instruction in methods and approaches routinely used in food microbiology testing laboratories as well as research-oriented and novel methods (in a form of a small group project), including emerging methods that are not yet well established. Excursions to at least two food processing plants are included to illustrate how the science of food microbiology is employed in industry, whether to preserve foods, produce foods or food ingredients, or to protect foods from harmful microorganisms.


Unit name Food Microbiology
Unit code KLA396
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems
Coordinator Doctor Jay Kocharunchitt
Teaching staff Professor Tom Ross
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Outline the importance of microorganisms and their role in the production, deterioration and safety of foods, from both ecological and physiological perspectives.
  • Explain scientific information about food-borne microorganisms to minimise potential food safety risks and maintain the microbiology quality of foods.
  • Select appropriate microbiological methods for study, control and manipulation of food-borne microorganisms
  • Conduct a research project in food microbiology through the application of microbiological methods

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010911 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,472.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KLA200 OR KLA210 OR CJA214 OR JFA214 OR CXA241 OR KLA256


AssessmentShort Answer Questions (X4) (5%)|Essay Based on Reading Topic (15%)|Report on Nominated Set Practical (15%)|Small Research Project (25%)|Examination - take home (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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