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Practical Food Microbiology


**Approved for Certified Food Scientist Contact Hours!**

Course Code: LF0401WA21

Food Microbiology

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Date & Time

Last Held: March 16-18, 2021
9:00am - 2:00pm EDT (Login time on Day 1: 8:45am EDT)

Next offering TBD


Student Reviews

David Kowalski, Food Microbiology Course Attendee

"Food microbiology has a vital role in our safety programs. This course steered me in the right direction, and I am now able to formulate a plan for shelf life testing – something that's very important for our business and processes."

- David A. Kowalski,
Operations Manager/Food Safety Manager,
Bimmy's LLC

Student Reviews

Frank D'Angelo, Food Microbiology Course Attendee

"This class was exactly what I was looking for. I have some microbiology background, but I needed a short, intensive food micro class. The professors give excellent presentations, interactive and applicable."

- Frank D'Angelo,
Food Lab Practice Coordinator,

Student Reviews

Raymond Wong, Food Microbiology Course Attendee

"I supply products to Asian markets all along the East Coast so food safety is very important to my business. I heard about this class from FDA inspectors who have taken courses at Rutgers. When the best people train at Rutgers, I know it is the place to learn about food safety."

- Raymond Wong,
Trader Ray LLC

Student Reviews

Amy D'Amico, Food Microbiology Course Attendee

"The course was very thorough and beneficial. I kept sending messages to my boss during class because I couldn’t wait to get back to share what I learned! When the FDA audits our plant, I now can refer to guidelines provided by Rutgers to support our limits. I will also use what I learned to train our plant staff. I recommend this class to anybody working in the food industry!"

- Amy D'Amico,
REHS/Quality Programs Manager,

Student Reviews

Angela Ehlich, Food Microbiology Course Attendee

"The Food Microbiology class was very insightful. Our company typically launches approximately 40-60 new products in the US every year. The resources and guidance provided in this class were extensive and should be useful in helping with the continued success and safety of our products. I expect to be sending more staff members to next year’s class!"

- Angela Ehlich,
Senior Manager- Quality Assurance,
The Hain Celestial Group

Understanding the what, how, when, and why of food pathogens

If you develop, process, distribute, or sell food for a living, it is crucial to have an understanding of the following food microbiology topics:

  • Which pathogens are most likely to cause trouble;
  • When and why they threaten product and customer safety; and,
  • How to best manage and control the risks posed by these organisms.

This online Practical Food Microbiology course covers all of these subjects and much more! Our team of expert instructors will take you step-by-step through the science and practice of food safety microbiology.

If you have never taken a food micro class, we will teach you the most critical points for food safety applications. You will learn which environmental factors influence the growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms in food, how to avoid microbial contamination, and how to produce safe food products.

Even if you have experience in the area of food safety microbiology, you will benefit from attending this course! Advance your understanding of when and how to use new and powerful (but often abused and misunderstood) tests, tools, and models. Learn to make better choices by understanding the limits and applicability of data produced, as well as the danger of starting with ill-considered assumptions! 

By attending this course, you will also learn how to implement a successful, state-of-the-art HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) system to identify points of contamination risk in the food manufacturing process. Our instructors will cover how to control and monitor those risks and how to take corrective actions. (For more in-depth training on this food safety topic, check out our 3-day HACCP Plan Development for Food Processors course.)

Whether you are looking for an introduction to the subject of food microbiology, need a refresher to strengthen your foundational knowledge of the topic, or are seeking insights to help you solve microbiology problems with your food products, you will leave this course with new information to keep your food products safe.

Food Microbiology Course Video Preview

Microbial Growth in Food - Why is Temperature Important?
Instructor Karl Matthews, PhD provides a preview of what you'll learn in this course.

Food Microbiology Course: Additional Details

Read more about what to expect at the Practical Food Microbiology course! Click to expand each section.

Practical Food Microbiology Course Topics

This food microbiology training course will cover the following topics over three days of online instruction:

  • Microbial Ecology: Food safety depends on understanding what conditions encourage microbial growth and what inhibits it.
  • Pathogens – Gram-negative: The FDA/USDA are hustling to better understand Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella.
  • Pathogens – Gram-positive: Listeria monocytogenes has plagued many food manufacturers. We focus on ecology and control.
  • Spoilage: Yeast and mold are major culprits in food spoilage. Learn how to detect and identify them in food processing facilities.
  • Current Food Safety Issues: Get the latest on the worst outbreaks to hit the news and consumers' GI tracts.
  • Testing: A good test done wrong can be more dangerous than no testing at all. Know the uses and abuses of microbial testing.
  • Predictive Models & Quantitative Risk Assessment: Tools of quantification are continually expanding in power and applicability.
Meet Your Food Microbiology Instructors

Don Schaffner, PhD - Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist, Dept. of Food Science, Rutgers University
Karl Matthews, PhD - Professor, Department Chair, Dept. of Food Science, Rutgers University

Here's what students have to say about the Practical Food Microbiology instructional team:

  • "The way both professors taught from basics to very complicated advanced concepts successfully...Excellent!"
    - Carista Wilson, Lab Information Management Administrator, The Hershey Company, PA, 2014 attendee
  • "Great content and fantastic professors who display the information clearly and in a way everyone can understand."
  • "Both speakers were well knowledgeable and extremely entertaining."
  • "Enjoyed both presentations; very informative."
  • "Instructors were very approachable."
Who Should Attend?

Any food industry professional who wants to better understand food safety microbiology will benefit from participating in this training course. Past attendees have included:

  • Food Safety Managers
  • Food Processing Managers and Technicians
  • Food Research and Development Professionals
  • Food Technologists
  • Food Safety Consultants
  • Quality Assurance/Quality Control Professionals
  • Food Service Professionals with Technical Backgrounds
  • Public Health Professionals
  • Practicing Microbiologists
  • Food Product Marketing Managers
Student Reviews of Practical Food Microbiology

"I registered to broaden my knowledge of food spoilage and how to prevent it. I now have a good understanding of spoilage that is very practical for our canning business. Thanks to this class, I will change how cooled can temperature is viewed and handled at my company to make our products even safer."
- Robert Fredericks, Quality Supervisor, Bumble Bee Seafoods, 2015 attendee

"[I enrolled] to better understand the reasons for our micro testing programs. [Most useful was] the reference material. I can look up more information. This course shows how to target our testing."
- Eileen Tenore, Quality Control Systems Chemist, Symrise, NJ, 2014 attendee

"Excellent, I found everything useful. This course reinforced what I do."
- Paul Newton, Quality Control Microbiologist, Takasago International Corporation, NJ, 2014 attendee

"The most useful aspect for me was the detail given about the individual organisms and their ecology. I will use things I learned about microbiology ecology to help improve my sanitation program."
- Tony Richardson, Sanitation Supervisor, Cumberland Dairy Inc, NJ, 2013 attendee

"I work very closely with food science majors; this course helped me to continue my development while gaining a better understanding of some of their procedural knowledge and nomenclature allowing me to effectively engage with the team members."
- Vid Lutz, Product Development Chef, Nestle

"Thank you for the excellent 2-day Food Micro course. It was well-planned, well-delivered and very informative."
- Crispin Philpott, Executive Vice-President, FoodChek Systems, Inc., 2011 attendee

"Excellent review of pathogens and considerations regarding sampling techniques. I plan to review all recipe directions -- choice of sampling plan has stoked interest in product use hazards assessment."
- G. Toner, Manager Quality Engineering, Rakitt Benckiser, 2011 attendee

"Very useful data and professors were open to questions. I can use the material on diseases caused by microorganisms for future employee training."
- I. Manjarres, Quality Assurance Technician, Fratelli Beretta USA, 2011 attendee

Approved Credits

The March 16-18, 2021 offering of this course was approved for the following credits. We will reapply for similar credits the next time the course runs, but we cannot guarantee credit approval for future offerings.

In addition to 1.6 Rutgers CEUs, this online food microbiology course is approved for the following credits:

This program qualifies for Certified Food Scientist (CFS) recertification contact hours (CH). CFS Certificants may claim a maximum of 11.75 CH for their participation in this program. For more information, please visit www.ift.org/certification or email ifscc@ift.org.

Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). Participants who complete this education program will be awarded 13.0 NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs).

Early Registration Fee TBD  
Registration Fee TBD  
Cancellation Fee TBD  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


No meals will be provided.

Accessing this Online Course

This virtual online class will be delivered via Webex. Registrants will receive more information as we move close to the course date and on March 15, 2021, they will receive an email with a link to access the course and a document with tips on how to use Webex. Please log into Webex at 8:45am EDT (15 minutes before start time) for a brief overview of the online format. The course will start promptly at 9:00am EDT.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • A computer or tablet
  • Microphones and webcams are required as this is a very interactive course

Photo ID Requirement:

Each registrant will be asked provide a photo of him/herself holding their government-issued photo ID. This is required by credit boards so that you may receive credits for participating in this online course.

  • You will receive a reminder email prior to the start of the class with further instructions. Wait to receive these instructions before you attempt to upload your ID.
  • The photo must be clear enough that we can read your name and verify that the person pictured on the ID is in fact the person holding it.
  • After an OCPE staff member reviews the picture and verifies your identity, you will have access to participate in the course when it begins.


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with co-workers.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used an email address that you share with your co-workers or supervisor, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled?
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our email list (please choose "Food Science & Safety" as your Area of Interest) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Suzanne Hills, 848-932-7234
Administrative Assistant: Sarah McCarthy, 848-932-7703

Related Courses of Interest for Food Safety Professionals

HACCP Plan Development for Food Processors
Better Process Control School
Good Manufacturing Practices: Food Processing Basics

View all available food safety training and food science courses.

Attention U.S. Veterans

This course is approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for educational benefits through the GI Bill®. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.