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Unit information: Meat Hygiene and Public Health (Distance Learning) in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Meat Hygiene and Public Health (Distance Learning)
Unit code VETSM0017
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Ed van Klink
Open unit status Not open



Other units required for completion of PgC (4 units, 15 credits), PgD (8 units, 15 credits) and MSc (8 units + research project)

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Meat is the most common source of food-borne disease, and microbes are the most important cause of food spoilage. As a consequence meat hygiene is of paramount importance during the production of raw meat. In addition, the unit considers the principles of food preservation, risk analysis and methods of ensuring safe food processing.

Aims This unit aims to develop the student’s interest in and knowledge and understanding of: the microbes involved in disease and food spoilage, how to minimise the contamination of raw meat, the principles of food preservation and the methods by which hygiene can be assessed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of:

  • the microbes involved in disease and food spoilage, how to minimise the contamination of raw meat, the principles of food preservation and the methods by which hygiene can be assessed
  • past and current research in the above areas

2. Students will be able to:

  • synthesise, summarise and critically analyse information from past and current research
  • address complex industry problems informed by an in-depth knowledge and understanding, and original thinking

Teaching Information

All the teaching materials for this e-learning unit will be hosted on a web-based platform, Blackboard, accessible remotely by DL students. The Blackboard site has an easy-to-navigate structure with 5 sections: introduction, taught material, contacts, coursework, and examinations.

The ‘introduction’ includes a welcome from the Unit Director, an electronic copy of the student handbook, information and contact details (with permission) about other students on the programme (emails, telephone numbers, and work address), and contact details for personal tutors and the DL student representative.

The ‘taught material’ subject matter is divided into 6 lecture sets (bite size chunks) which develops the subject in a logical order and includes a discussion Board at the end of each set of lectures. The content, the same as that in the residential unit (VETSM0005), is informed by past and current research in the subject area, including that of research-active staff who teach the unit.

The ‘contacts’ sections has contact details (email and phone) for the Programme Director, Unit Director, and IT support.

There is a separate section containing detailed requirements for coursework. Another section describes the format of the examination and contains examples of past papers.

The e-learning materials have been available, either in part or in their completed form, for about 2 years to FT and residential PT students. The feedback on the resources has been very favourable.

Assessment Information

Knowledge and understanding is assessed by a combination of coursework (30% of available marks) and a 3 hour written examination (70% of available marks). Coursework consists of an end of unit test (1 hour), requiring students to produce short answers to a range of questions that covers every major topic in the unit.

The 3 hour unseen examination paper has a mandatory 5-part question designed to test breadth of knowledge, and a choice of essay-style questions (3 from 6) designed to test depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject area, including past and current research.

The coursework accounts for 30% of the unit marks, and the examination 70%. DL students have the same assessments as residential students on the meat hygiene and public health unit (VETSM0005).

Reading and References

There will be a strong reliance on original research papers. The following books are also helpful.

  • Adams, M.R. & Moss, M.O. (2008). Food microbiology (3rd ed). Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Mead, G.C. (ed.) (2005). Food safety control in the poultry industry. Woodhead Publishing.
  • Mead, G.C. (ed.) (2004). Poultry meat processing and quality. Woodhead Publishing.
  • Pearson, A. M. and Dutson, T.R. (eds) Advances in Meat Research vol. 2 Meat and Poultry Microbiology. AVI, Westport.