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Online · School of Health Sciences · Public and Community Health

Food-borne Illness Prevention

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course examines current research and governmental initiatives regarding food safety as well as “best practices” for food handling in foodservice systems.





The dangers of foodborne illness have been well known throughout history. Some of the earliest food sanitation guidelines are promoted in the Old Testament. Even in the twenty-first century, however, outbreaks of foodborne illness continue to cause considerable morbidity and mortality despite a better scientific understanding of the natural history of foodborne diseases. Knowledge of the etiology and skill in investigation, mitigation and prevention of these outbreaks is critical to the maintenance of public health.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Assess risk and perform hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) evaluations of food safety.
  2. Evaluate the risks associated with each step in the food supply.
  3. Describe the major provisions, relationships, and hierarchy of laws and guidelines designed to ensure a safe food supply in the United States.
  4. Interpret food sanitation standards.
  5. Solve problems and make critical decisions in food sanitation and safety inspection.
  6. Investigate foodborne illness outbreaks.
  7. Develop educational material for food handling staff.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

Knechtges, PL. Food safety: Theory and practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2012. ISBN: 9780763785567.

Recommended Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR). Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response. 2nd edition. Atlanta: Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; 2014.

Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, et al. AMA manual of style: A guide for authors and editors. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning 

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office is available at a special discount to Liberty University students.)

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Quizzes (7)

There will be seven open book/open notes quizzes during the course. The quizzes will be taken during each module/week, except Module/Week 7. Each quiz must be completed by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week, except for Quiz 7, which must be completed by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.

Short Papers (2)

The student will complete two Short Paper (1-2 pages) assignments. The instructor is looking for substantial, thoughtful, and critical analysis of an assigned topic. The first short paper is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 2. The second short paper is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 5.

Case Studies (2)

The student will assume the role of a sanitation inspector to investigate and evaluate two case studies related to foodborne illness and/or its prevention from a list of cases provided. The student will write a minimum of eight pages discussing each case. The papers should analyze and explain the scientific aspects of each case and the public health policies and regulations regarding management of the situation created by the case. The first case study is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 3. The second case study is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 7.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

The student will complete four Discussion Board forums. Each discussion will consist of a thread and at least two replies. The instructor is looking for substantial, thoughtful, and critical discussions. The Discussion Board Forum assignments are in Module/Week 4, 6, 7, and 8. Threads must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of each module/week and replies are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of each respective module/week.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Quizzes (7 at 50 pts ea)


Short Papers (2 at 65 pts ea)


Case studies (2 at 170 pts ea)


Discussion Board Forums (4 at 45 pts ea)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


HLTH 642

Textbook: Knechtges, PL. Food safety: Theory and practice.

Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2012.

Module/ Week

Reading & Study




Knechtges: ch. 1

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Quiz 1





Knechtges: ch. 2

1 presentation

Short Paper 1

Quiz 2




Knechtges: ch. 3

1 presentation

Case Study 1

Quiz 3




Knechtges: ch. 4

1 presentation

DB Forum 1

Quiz 4




Knechtges: ch. 5

1 presentation

Short Paper 2

Quiz 5




Knechtges: ch. 6

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Quiz 6




Knechtges: ch. 7

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Case Study 2




Knechtges: ch. 8

1 presentation

DB Forum 4

Quiz 7





DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.