How should we deal with the threat of pathogens in our food? How can we use our knowledge of them to improve food safety? Second-year Food Science students discussed these and more questions during a poster session on foodborne pathogens as part of the new module on Food Microbiology.

The event – which took place on 23 October – gave the opportunity to staff and students to reflect on the risk factors and epidemiology of some of the most relevant ‘nasty germs’ of food. Their impact on staples, such as rice, and the seriousness of their infection, as in the Listeria monocytogenes case, were some of the highlights of the session.

The occasion provided students with an opportunity to use primary literature to detail the problems caused by foodborne pathogens and to develop their skills on scientific poster design and presentation.

Cheese, bread and fruit

The new module, led by Professor Paul Ashton, focuses on the role of microorganisms on food spoilage and preservation, food safety and processes such as fermentation.

Professor Ashton said: “’With increasing industrialisation of food production, understanding the risks and how try to mitigate them is more important than ever for those seeking a career in microbiology’”

For more information about the range of Biosciences degree courses on offer at Edge Hill University, visit: