Module 1- Introduction to food safety and food preservation

Proverb: “From farm to fork, keep food safe.”


 Microorganisms are everywhere. You may not see, taste, or smell them, but they hide on your body, in the air, on kitchen counters and utensils, and in food. The main microorganisms are viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria. they can contaminate the food and cause food spoilage or foodborne infection .  Of all the microorganisms, bacteria are the greatest threat to food safety. Bacteria are single-celled, living organisms that can grow quickly at favourable temperatures. Some bacteria are useful. We use them to make foods like cheese, buttermilk, sauerkraut, pickles, beer and yoghurt. Other bacteria are infectious disease-causing agents called pathogens that use the nutrients found in potentially hazardous foods to multiply.

Food preservation is the process to handle and treat food in order to control its spoilage by stopping the attack and growth of foodborne diseases causing microbes; avoiding oxidation of fats (rancidity) and maintaining the nutritional value, texture and flavour of the food.  One of the main challenges facing Africa today is ensuring food security, as the countries demand more food than before with the increase in population.  Simple, low-cost, traditional food processing techniques are also the bedrock of small-scale food processing enterprises that are crucial to rural development in Africa. Traditional/indigenous foods also provide inexpensive, safe, nutritious foods throughout the whole year thus boosting overall food security. This lecture considers the Indigenous methods of food preservation and food security in Africa.


At the end of this module you should be able to appreciate :

  • The factors contributing to the increase in the global incidence of food poisoning 
  • Describe the factors contributing to foodborne disease and how to manipulate those factors in order to preserve food.
  • Explain good practices with respect to food storage and preservation practices indigenous to Africa.


The lectures in module 1  will cover 4 short lectures :

  • lecture 1: Introduction to food safety
  • lecture 2: Indicators of food spoilage
  • Lecture 3: Factors affecting microbial growth and food preservation
  • Lecture 4: Indigenous food preservation and food security in Africa

Please click this link to access all the learning materials –

  • The course materials will consist of a short video and a PDF (of the PowerPoint) for each lecture. A reference material called Big bad book (Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook) and finally a video called Food preservation – the seven wonders of the microbe world


Reflection: Think of a time you became sick after eating a meal? What went wrong? What were the symptoms? Under what conditions were the food prepared? Was it freshly prepared food or pre-packaged? What resolutions did you make after recovery? (Complete this reflection before you start with the reading materials)

Provocative Question: If you were given the catering contract for an event, what steps will you take to ensure effective
food safety in the event? (Complete your response before you start with the reading materials)



Assignment 1: Watch this video and make a list of how and why people get food poisoning ( please use the comment below to answer the question )


  • Pepple, N. (2017). Environment and Food Poisoning: Food Safety Knowledge and Practice among Food Vendors in Garki, Abuja – Nigeria, J health educ res dev, 5:2, Salem University, Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria.
  • WHO, Fact Sheet on Food Safety,


WATCH THE ZOOM VIDEO OF MODULE 1 LIVE SESSION HERE: – Module 1 of Food Safety and Preservation


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