Practical microbiology training: needs and the food and drink manufacturing and retail sectors
Campden BRI is the UK’s largest independent membership-based organisation carrying out research and development for the food and drinks industry worldwide. It is committed to providing industry with the research, technical, advisory and knowledge transfer services needed to ensure product safety and quality, process efficiency and product and process innovation. With a largely industrial membership of over 2000 companies it is ideally placed to establish the scientific and technical needs of industry and provide a centre of excellence in knowledge, skills and continuing professional development.
This document identifies the key areas of microbiological training required by industry personnel to fulfil their tasks across the diverse range of roles within food manufacture and retailing. Devised in close collaboration with industry representatives, the document will be used:
- by Campden BRI to inform the development of training provision and related continuing professional development (CPD) for industry
- to promote industry's training needs to other training promoters and relevant organisations that support training and continuing professional development.
We are grateful to the companies that gave their time, energy and experience in the development of this document.
The food industry relies upon the skills of its employees to develop and manufacture products that meet the attributes demanded by the consumer. The most fundamental and non-negotiable attribute that must be assured is product safety.
One of the greatest threats to food safety is the growth of pathogenic organisms. In addition product spoilage is a major contributor to product wastage and financial loss. Microbiology is accordingly an essential area in which the sector must be able to source high level practical skills and knowledge. There is a suggestion, from our members, that the level of practical experience of newly qualified and even some established microbiologists, technologists and managers is not sufficient to satisfy the changing and ever more demanding needs of the food and drink sector.
This document identifies the key areas of microbiological training required by staff to fulfil their tasks across the diverse range of roles within food manufacture and retailing.
The skills and training requirements presented here were compiled as an output from a dedicated workshop convened in April 2013 and through further consultation with our members, through a discussion group at Campden BRI's Rapid Methods Conference the following June. The April event had the specific objective of identifying key roles within the industry and the associated skills and knowledge needed. The June workshop refined and developed these considerations.