2023-2024 / VETE3006-1

Biological risks in the food chain: identification, control and monitoring methods


16h Th, 8h Mon. WS, 16h E-Lrng, 16h Pr

Number of credits

 Advanced Master in Management of Food Chain Safety5 crédits 


Georges Daube, Philippe Jacques, Nicolas Korsak Koulagenko, Marie Polet, Bernard Taminiau


Georges Daube

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Lectures (including online course):

The first part of the course will be structured as follows:

  • Introduction to foodborne illnesses and their importance in public health.
  • Main foodborne pathogens: helminths, protozoa, bacteria, viruses, mycotoxins, marine biotoxins, biogenic amines, unconventional transmissible agents.
  • Characteristics of the main bacteria responsible for foodborne illnesses: Salmonella, Yersinia, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli O157, enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter, Vibrio cholerae, Vibro parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, Clostridium botulinum , Listeria monocytogenes and other agents.
  • Main organisms responsible for spoilage or used to transform or preserve food.
  • Management of the microbiological shelf life of foods by producers including predictive microbiology.
The second part of the course will be structured as follows:

  • Principles of microbiological analysis of food: sampling plans, sampling, sample management, test sample, counts, detections, identifications, typing.Alternative methods in food microbiology, including genetic methods.
  • Applications of the microbiological analysis of foods and significance of the flora detected or counted.
  • Accreditation of laboratories and recognized methods.Definitions, development and use of microbiological criteria.

Practical work consisting in the counting and research of the main micro-organisms contaminating food by traditional method of culture, by immunodiagnosis and genetic method; control of water, air and surfaces.

Organization of a food microbiology and biosafety laboratory.


Tutorials consisting of exercises in predictive microbiology and the setting of microbiological criteria and the interpretation of the results of microbiological analyzes in relation to the criteria in place.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the first part of this teaching given mainly online, the student will have to know the main characteristics of biological agents in food: taxonomy, physiology, virulence, reservoirs, sources of contamination, associated foods, control measures. He must also be able to propose solutions to fight against pathogenic and spoilage agents and to promote the flora sought in the main categories of foodstuffs.

At the end of the second part of this course and the practical exercises associated with it, the student should be able to understand the techniques implemented by food microbiology laboratories and to choose the methods best suited to each situation. He will be able to choose the optimal flora to be counted or searched for according to the objectives set and to interpret the results obtained according to microbiological criteria.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge in biology and microbiology is necessary for a good understanding of the teaching.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

This Teaching Unit essentially aims to acquire knowledge through traditional face-to-face or distance learning integrating formative assessments. The practical application of the concepts taught via practical work in the laboratory and exercises carried out during the tutorials will allow you to consolidate the knowledge acquired.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

This is a hybrid course based on a set of online media (MOOC, Podcasts, reference sheets) which will serve as the basis for face-to-face lessons and for carrying out the exercises.

16 hours of lectures, 16 h of eLearming, 16 h of practicals and 8 hours of tutorials

Recommended or required readings

The teaching materials will all be accessible via eCampus from the start of the academic year. They will be of various natures (MOOC, Podcasts, Powerpoint supports, reference documents available on eCampus or via links on the Web).

Summary sheets from ANSES covering the main risks of biological origin transmitted by food (https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/fiches-de-dangers-biologiques-transmissibles-par-les-aliments) are the main knowledge bases of this subject.

Additional information can be found in the following books:

Oral examination after short period of preparation

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Attendance at practical and tutorial sessions is mandatory. Repeated unjustified absences may lead to the refusal of the presentation of the final oral test.


  • Pr. Georges Daube, professor
  • Pr. Nicolas Korsak en charge de l'enseignement
  • Dr Bernard Taminiau, en charge de l'enseignement
  • Pr Philippe Jacques, professor
  • Elisa Martinez, assistant
  • Mme Christine Bal, secretary

Université de Liège, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Département des Sciences des Denrées alimentaires, Bld de Colonster, 20. Sart-Tilman, B43bis, Liège, Belgique

tél : +32-4-366 40 15 (40 40)

fax : +32-4-366 40 54

E-mail : Georges.Daube@uliege.be; nkorsak@uliege.be; bernard.taminiau@uliege.be; philippe.jacques@uliege.be; emartinez@uliege.be; Christine.bal@uliege.be

Website : http://www.dda.ulg.ac.be/

Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.

Additional information:

The basic notions concerning biological and chemical risks are to be acquired via the MOOC "Chemical and biological risks in the food chain", inaugurated during the academic year 2023-2024 and made available to students for the duration of their registration. at the Teaching Unit.