IEH Academy

Introduction to Microorganisms in the Food Industry

Course details

Self-Paced eLearning

FREE (Limited Time Only)

2 hrs.

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Explore the world of microorganisms in the food industry and how microorganisms play a role in food production and manufacturing. Microbes such as bacteria, molds, and yeasts are utilized for the foods production and food ingredients such as the production of wine, beer, bakery, and dairy products.

Benefits and Learning Objectives

This course introduces why an understanding of microorganisms in a food manufacturing facility is critical to ensuring the safety and quality of your products. It also provides participants with the tools and knowledge to assist with programs and processes that guard against shelf-life failures and foodborne illnesses.


Students will progress through a series of modules that address the following subject matters:

  1. Microorganisms: An Overview
  2. Microorganisms in Food Processing
  3. Spoilage & Pathogenic Microorganisms
  4. Ways to Control Impacts of Food Microorganisms
  5. Plant Sanitation & GMPs
  6. The 7 Steps of Effective Preoperational Sanitation
  7. The Connection Between Sanitation and Microorganisms

Who Should Take this Course?

The intended audience for this course includes:

  • Managers
  • R&D
  • Maintenance & Operator personnel
  • QA Technicians
  • QA Managers
  • Microbiologists
  • Purchasing Agents
  • Other food processing employees place a major role in food safety and quality.

Learn more about our food safety courses.

Registration and Payment

To register for this course, please visit our training portal.

Course Instructor

Dr. Gene Bartholomew

Vice President, Technical Services - IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group

Dr. Gene Bartholomew joined IEH as Vice President of Technical Services in 2019. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from Cornell University and a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University. Dr. Bartholomew began his professional career at International Paper in 1983 as a research scientist. During his 15 years there, he commercialized and validated an aseptic packaging system, managed a beverage pilot plant and its laboratory, started taste panel testing for the company, and advanced to manage several products, and development groups. Dr. Bartholomew then joined Smithfield Foods Packaged Meats. He started in the John Morrell Group as the corporate director of food safety for 7 meat processing and slaughter facilities and 1 spice plant. He later took on the role of Senior Director of Corporate Food Safety, during which he was responsible for 14 meat processing plants and several FDA-regulated plants. Throughout his 20-year career at Smithfield, he led HACCP plan design and validation, thermal processing, regulatory compliance, sanitation, allergen control, and environmental pathogen monitoring. He also managed a corporate microbiology laboratory and its accreditation, has certifications in HACCP training, BRC, and SQF schemes, and is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual. Dr. Bartholomew was a founding member of the North American Meat Institute Listeria Control Workshop and has taught numerous courses to members of the food industry.