Making food safety a priority

Posted on May 11, 2018

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 resulted in more 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 has caused disruption of international trade on the African continent where some of the implicated food products are exported.

Stakeholders within government, business and the public have emphasised the need for increased food safety measures at all stages of the food chain. This is in a bid to prevent a recurrence. Therefore, understanding the basic principles of food microbiology and safety, especially among individuals working within the food industry, is vital to preventing contamination of food products and subsequent illness in consumers.

The University of Pretoria (UP) 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, aimed at equipping stakeholders with the knowledge and skills required to keep food safe from foodborne pathogens, thereby reducing incidence of foodborne illnesses.

The course will 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. Furthermore, delegates will be equipped with the practical skills and knowledge of the application of these principles in the food industry and the prevention of contaminants in food production and preservation.

The course will also earn delegates 10 Continuing Professional Development Points from the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

The following short courses and research and advisory services are available via Enterprises UP to enhance the skills of professionals operational in the specific field:


Visit the following links for more information on UP Enterprises Agriculture and Food Security short courses and research and advisory services.

- Author Department of University Relations

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