Graduate certificate programs focused on food safety are meant to educate students about what it takes to keep food safe for consumption. As such, the courses usually cover topics related to identifying and controlling food hazards as well as the relevant food safety regulations. This article will present an overview of the courses that are generally included in graduate certificate programs related to food safety as well as the admission requirements for these programs.
Graduate Certificate Programs in Food Safety
These graduate certificate programs can require 12 credits to complete, and classes can be taken in person or online. Below are descriptions of some common course topics students might see.
In order to fully understand food safety, students must learn about the role microbiology plays in keeping food safe. Students will learn about the identification of different types of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds. These types of courses will also teach students about how microorganisms can be used in food preservation and fermentation.
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is an essential tool when it comes to enforcing food safety. HACCP-related courses are designed to expose students to the building blocks of this food safety system and how it can be applied to the food industry. Students will also learn how to create an HACCP-based plan.
Toxicants in Food
These types of courses teach students about the toxins that can be found in food. A few of the subjects these courses cover are toxicology principles, defense systems, and how toxicants work. After completing these courses, students will also be able to conduct risk assessments on food when it comes to toxicants.
When dealing with food safety, students must also learn how to keep food secure along the supply chain. These courses cover the different aspects of food security that students must consider. Students will learn how to prepare food security plans and how to respond if there's a breach in the system.
Food Regulations and Laws
In order to make sure food safety is controlled and guided, there are regulations that are pertinent to keeping food safe. These courses will expose students to the current laws that govern the food industry. Students may also learn about the history of food regulations.
General Admission Requirements
For admission into graduate certificate programs related to food safety, prospective students will need to have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Several schools require a minimum GPA of 2.7. While not all programs specify the field of the degree, a few need the applicant to have an academic background in a scientific subject area such as biology, biochemistry, physics or calculus. In addition to a school transcript, students should expect to submit a current resume, a statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.
Persons who would like to pursue a graduate certificate program related to food safety can do so with an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. The programs generally consist of 12 credit hours and can have online learning options.