Course overview

Risk Analysis in the Food Chain introduces you to the principles and practices of ensuring the safety of food across the entire breadth of the industry, including its importance to producers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. You will explore the key components of risk analysis: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication, all building to a well-developed sense of how to identify and manage food-related risks. In order to properly appreciate the application of these tools, one key exercise will see you acting in the role of a national food control authority, investigate a real case of food risk and develop an appropriate management strategy.

As a result of completing this course, you will obtain a detailed understanding of Risk Analysis as it pertains to the food chain, and with a set of pragmatic tools that will allow you to apply these principles to your own practice. Risk analysis is a vital and vibrant discipline within the modern agrifood sector, and would, therefore, be of use to professionals from across the industry.

    Key facts file

    Course Dates:

    14 Jan 2019

    Title: Risk Analysis in the Food Chain

    8 Weeks online

    Entry Requirements:

    Graduate level or relevant experience

    Credits: 10
    Cost: £800.00
    Fee Info:

    Discounts available for multiple bookings

    CQFW Level: 7
    Course Provider: University Of Reading
    Provider Reference Number:


    Course Arrangements: Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location: Online, University of Reading
    Course Logistics:

    Delivered entirely online through the University of Reading's Virtual Learning Environment over an eight week period, it is suggested that material is reviewed on a weekly basis, however, participants may vary their speed of learning to suit their own requirements.
    The course is available to be completed for Continued Professional Development, or with the award of 10 academic credits where participants successfully complete the formative assessment requirements during and within four weeks of completing the online content.


    Dr David Jukes

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this course participants should be able to:

    • Describe the key elements of risk analysis
    • Explain how risk analysis is applied to different parts of the food chain
    • Undertake risk assessment activities, identify appropriate risk management options and develop suitable risk communication strategies


    Additional Course Information

    Topics covered will include:

    • Risk and Risk Analysis
    • National Food Safety Control - Risk Analysis by Governments
    • Risk Assessment and the Role of Science
    • Risk Management
    • Risk Communication
    • Chemical vs Microbial Risk Analysis Methodology
    • The Role of Risk Analysis in the Food Industry


    Introductory distance learning material provided via a virtual learning environment (VLE) will describe the key elements of risk analysis as applied to the food chain and prepare participants for the on-campus study period. The development of risk analysis is put into the context of past and current issues in the food chain (e.g. BSE/CJD and GM food). The application of risk analysis to different parts of the food chain will be considered.

    Participants, working in groups of 3-5, will undertake a problem-based learning exercise where risk assessment and risk management issues are applied to a current problem in the food chain (e.g. aflatoxin in nuts, antibiotic residues in seafood, mercury contamination in fish). This will lead to the submission of a group report and a presentation to the class. After the campus workshops, participants will undertake an individual task considering the issue of risk communication either based on their group task or on an issue linked to their employment.

    Global context: 
    The issues discussed and the procedures studied have application universally around the globe. Although largely based on European approaches to risk analysis, they are used internationally.
    The course consists of some preliminary distance learning material, a series of lectures and presentations covering different aspects of risk analysis and its application to the food chain. A major component will be a problem-based learning group exercise. To conclude, participants undertake an individual task.

    On the final day of the on-campus workshops, the group presentation will be given and the group report submitted. The individual task will be agreed before the conclusion of the on-campus workshop period and will be completed during the following 6 weeks.

    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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