South Africa is currently experiencing a foodborne outbreak associated with ready-to-eat cold meats caused by a common foodborne pathogen called Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). The outbreak has caused illness in more than 1 000 individuals and more than 180 deaths. This has led to the recall of many ready-to-eat cold meat products from manufacturers and retailers causing millions of rands worth of damage. Furthermore, this unfortunate scenario has caused tremendous disruption of international trade on the African continent where some of the implicated food products are exported.
Whilst unfortunate, this outbreak has on the other hand led to various stakeholders within government, business and the public emphasising the need for increased food safety measures at all stages of the food chain in a bid to prevent a reoccurrence. Therefore, understanding the basic principles of food microbiology and safety, especially among individuals diligently working within the food industry, is vital to preventing contamination of food products and subsequent illness in consumers.
As a leading research-intensive university in Africa, the University of Pretoria prides itself in providing knowledge that is vital in tackling pressing local and international issues. Enterprises UP, in collaboration with UP experts, presents a unique Online Course in Food Microbiology aiming to fill the gaps needed to equip various stakeholders with the knowledge and skills required in keeping food safe from foodborne pathogens, thereby reducing incidence of foodborne illnesses.
The course will not only provide delegates with an in-depth understanding of the general principles of microbiology – with a specific focus on micro-organisms and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect their growth in food – but delegates will also be equipped with the practical skills and knowledge of its application in the food industry and the prevention of contaminants in food production and preservation. The course will also earn you 10 CPD points from SACNASP.