SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of microbiological principles and its application in a food handling environment. 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
119801  Demonstrate an understanding of microbiological principles and its application in a food handling environment. 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Food Manufacturing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is intended for a person who works in a food handling environment who needs to have advanced knowledge of micro-organisms and the preventative methods and procedures for their growth and reproduction in food.A person credited with this unit standard is able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment.

    This unit standard will contribute to the full development of the learner within the food handling environment by providing recognition, further mobility and transportability within the field of manufacturing and assembly. The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard are essential for social and economic transformation and upliftment within the food handling environment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Description of required skills:
  • Knowledge of microbiology, NQF 3.
  • Knowledge of critical control points (CCPs) and monitoring thereof.
  • Knowledge of food safety practices and good manufacturing practices applied to control microbial contamination. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    In the context of this unit standard a food handling environment includes all areas relating to food handling, including primary production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, merchandising, retailing, preparation and final presentation to the consumer.

    The level assigned to this unit standard is applicable because a broad knowledge base with substantial depth, analytical interpretation of information, informed judgements and a range of sometime innovative responses to concrete but often unfamiliar problems are employed. The application of the unit standard is to qualify a person towards certification in advance trade, technical, technology occupations or undergraduate tertiary education. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Micro-organisms refer to bacteria, yeasts, moulds and bacterial viruses. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Bacterial spores are described according to standard microbiological principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The description refers to:
  • Main groups (genus) of bacteria that produce spores.
  • The generation of bacterial spores and their release into the environment.
  • The function of bacterial spores.
  • Germination of bacterial spores.
  • Resistance of bacterial spores to unfavourable conditions.
  • Health risks due to spore formation and germination.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The growth curve of bacteria is described according to standard microbiological principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The description refers to:
  • The lag phase.
  • The logarithmic phase.
  • The stationary phase.
  • Dying-off-phase.
  • Rate of bacterial growth during each phase.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Growth relationships between micro-organisms are described according to standard microbiological principles and by referring to examples within the specific context of the learner's work environment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The description refers to:
  • Symbiotic or mutualistic relationship.
  • Competitive relationship.
  • Parasitic relationship.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Micro-organisms that pose a risk to food manufacturing or to the health of the consumer are identified and described according to standard microbiological principles and within the specific context of the learner's work environment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The identification and description may refer to anyone of the following:
  • Bacterial viruses, including its significance, physical structure and mechanism of reproduction.
  • Pathogens associated within food borne diseases, including five examples of pathogens, the diseases they cause and associated carrier food products.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Micro-organisms refer to bacteria, yeasts, moulds and bacterial viruses. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The difference between the inhibiting of microbial growth and the killing of micro-organisms is explained according to standard microbiological principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The methods of inhibiting microbial growth and reproduction are identified and described according to standard microbiological principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The identification and description refer to:
  • Hygiene practices.
  • Temperature control (heating and cooling).
  • Removal of water (concentration).
  • Control of available moisture (water activity) through additions of e.g. salt or sugar.
  • Acidity (pH) control.
  • Control of available oxygen.
  • Removal of available nutrients.
  • Chemical preservation.
  • Hurdle technology.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The difference between quality control and quality assurance is defined. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The sampling methodology for microbiological analysis is explained and motivated according to standard principles of sampling and microbiology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Sampling methodology refers to sampling equipment, sampling procedures and storage of samples.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The significance of micro-organisms as indicators of food quality standards and criteria is explained according to standard microbiological principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The explanation refers to:
  • Bacteria, yeasts and moulds.
  • Implication of the presence of these micro-organisms in food products.
  • Laboratory methods for determining these microbiological loads.
  • Interpretation and implication of test results.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Sampling for statistical validity of microbiological analyses is explained according to standard principles of statistics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Symbols and measuring units used on certificates of microbiological analysis are identified according to international microbiological coding regulations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Symbols and measuring units refer to:
  • cfu: Colony forming units.
  • S: Satisfactory.
  • FS: Fairly satisfactory.
  • UNS: Unsatisfactory.
  • TNTC: Too numerous to count.
  • X: Indicated.
  • -: Not determined.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Internal moderation.
  • External moderation.
  • An assessor, accredited by the relevant ETQA, will assess the learner's competency.
  • Assessment procedures will be supplied by the ETQA in alignment with NSB requirements.
  • All assessment activities must be fair, so that all candidates have equal opportunities. Activities must be free of gender, ethnic or other bias.
  • Assessment and moderation procedures, activities and tools must be transparent, affordable and support development within the field, sub-field and NQF.
  • Questions and answers to determine theoretical knowledge are expected.
  • Examination of an assessment portfolio.
  • Reporting skills are demonstrated by effective communication, using verbal (language) and/or writing skills.
  • Proof of an understanding of micro-organisms and the preventative methods and procedures for their growth and reproduction in food. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Embedded knowledge is reflected within selected assessment criteria. 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
    Specific Outcome 1,2,3
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively by using mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
    Specific Outcome 1,2,3
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
    Specific Outcome 1,2,3
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
    Specific Outcome 1,2,3
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large.
    Specific Outcome 1,2,3
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the occurrence of micro-organisms in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the preventative methods and procedures for microbial growth in a food handling environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of determining the microbiological status in food products or in a food handling environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Supplementary Information:

    Legal requirements:
    The following acts and/or codes, current and future regulations and amendments will be applicable:
  • Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, No. 54 of 1972.
  • Health Act, No 63 of 1977.

    Definition of terms within this unit standard:

    Terminology and clarification/ explanation/ definition.
  • Critical control point (CCP): Point or step in the food handling process at which control is applied to prevent, eliminate or reduce a food safety hazard to an acceptable level.
  • Food safety: Assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use. Food safety is related to the occurrence of food safety hazards and does not include other human health aspects related to e.g. malnutrition.
  • Micro-organisms: Refer to the group of living organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Group of micro-organisms refers to bacteria, yeasts, moulds and bacterial viruses.

    Where the term food is used, beverage is also implied. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  50306   Further Education and Training Certificate: Dairy Manufacturing Technology  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  FOODBEV 
    Core  80686   National Diploma: Supply Chain Management: Sensitive Consumer Products  Level 6  NQF Level 06  Reregistered  2023-06-30  FOODBEV 
    Elective  59201   National Certificate: Generic Management  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Elective  49743   National Certificate: Manufacturing Management  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  FOODBEV 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.