Hygiene and Food Safety

Program Presentation

Foodborne diseases result from the unwanted presence of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins in food. The absence of hygienic measures, or malpractice, may cause the presence of these foreign agents in food, causing different symptoms and diseases (mainly diarrheal diseases) and even death, with children being the most affected demographic group worldwide.

It is well known that unhealthy food consumption is more likely in the case of poverty, since the main concern is access to food and not so much its preservation and handling; however, food poisoning is a public health problem that affects both underdeveloped and developed countries, since, given the globalization, food poisoning can spread rapidly through the stages of the food chain.

As such, the Food Safety and Hygiene program studies the main microorganisms, parasites, and toxins responsible for food toxi-infections, the fundamental aspects and hygienic measures in food handling and how to implement the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system to guarantee food safety, concluding with an analysis on how all these measures and strategies are incorporated within mass catering.

Who is the programme for?

The proposed study methodology, together with the clarity, comprehensiveness, and didactic design of the contents, allows the Food Safety and Hygiene program to be aimed at professionals working in positions related to mass catering, hospitality, food companies, the food industry, among others:

The Food Safety and Hygiene program is aimed at:

  • University graduates who wish to improve their professional performance by complementing their education in hygiene and food safety.
  • Professionals without a university degree who have a personal and/or professional interest in the study of foodborne diseases and strategies in preventing them.


The successful completion of the program will lead to a degree in Food Safety and Hygiene.

After the program has been successfully completed, the student will receive the degree as issued by the University where they are enrolled.

Program Structure

The estimated duration of the Food Safety and Hygiene program is 150 hours (15 credits)1

Regarding the distribution of time:

  • Being a distance learning Program and not subject to on-site classes, there is no specific starting date, by which the student may complete the enrollment process at any time provided that there is available space.
  • The maximum time available for completing this Program is of 6 months. During this time, the student should have submitted all of the corresponding evaluations for the program.

The credit structure of the Food Safety and Hygiene program is shown in the following table:

Subjects 15 6 150

a) The equivalence in credits may vary according to the University that issues the Diploma. One (1) ECTS credit (European Credit Transfer System) corresponds to 10 + 15 hours. The relationship between credits and hours may vary for those students in the Program who are enrolled in a University not belonging to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
b. Duration in months


General Objective

  • Identifying and evaluating the health risk associated with food consumption and handling, and knowing how to establish appropriate hygienic control measures for the prevention and control of such risks.

Specific Objectives

  • Analyzing the main microorganisms, parasites, and toxins responsible for foodborne diseases.
  • Recognizing the factors that favor microbiological growth and providing practical tools to avoid food contamination and prevent health problems for the end consumer.
  • Distinguishing the stages and phases of the HACCP plan design in food companies with diverse activities.
  • Integrating hygienic measures with prevention and control systems within the organization and the planning of mass catering companies.

Career Opportunities

Some of the career opportunities in the Food Safety and Hygiene program can be found in:

  • In social catering companies (hospitals, nursing homes, school, or company lunchrooms, etc.).
  • In commercial catering (restaurants, bars, etc.).
  • In companies and the food industry which activities involve direct contact with food (transportation, storage, preparation, packaging, distribution, and sales).
  • In food analysis laboratories.
  • In certification and auditing companies for food safety systems.
  • In face-to-face and/or e-learning educational institutions that provide formal and non-formal education programs related to food handling, food hygiene, food safety, food catering, etc.

Note: Practice of the professions is regulated by the legislation of each country.

Study Plan

The Food Safety and Hygiene Program is structured in 5 subjects, which despite being relatively independent of each other, are structured according to a coherent pedagogical order, by which the student must follow the chronological order.

The corresponding subjects and credits are shown in the following table:

Food Safety and Hygiene
# Subjects CREDITS
1 Food Handling 2
2 Microbiology and Parasitology 4
3 Food Toxicology 3
4 Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points 3
5 Mass Catering 3
  TOTAL 15

Note: The subject content may be subjected to slight modifications due to updates and improvements.


Academic Administration

  • Dr. Maurizio Antonio Battino. Researcher in Biochemistry and professor in the Scuola di Specializzazione in Scienza dell'Alimentazione. Professor in the Università Politecnica delle Marche. Scientific Director of the European University of the Atlantic. 

General Academic Coordination

  • Dr. Irma Domínguez Azpíroz. International Coordinator.
  • Dr. (c) Anna Marín. Coordinator in the Nutrition Area.

Teaching staff and Authors

  • Dr. Miguel Ángel Pavón. Doctor in Veterinary Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. Collaborating researcher in the Department of Nutrition, Bromatology, and Food Technology of the Complutense University of Madrid.
  • Dr. Andrea Arreguín. Doctor and Master's Degree in Nutrigenomics and Personalized Nutrition from the University of the Balearic Islands. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University.
  • Dr. Angélica Quintero Flórez. Doctor in Health Sciences from the University of Jaén. Master's Degree in Food Technology and Hygiene from the National University of La Plata. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University.
  • Dr. Clara Colina Coca. Doctor in Nutrition, Food Science, and Technology from the School of Pharmacy. Complutense University of Madrid - ICTAN-CSIC. Collaborating professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
  • Dr. Isabel Martorell. Doctorate in Biomedicine, Rovira i Virgili University. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University.
  • Dr. Priscilla Almeida. Doctor in Biomedicine, University of Zaragoza. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University
  • M. Cristina Lafuente. Official European Master in Nutrition and Metabolism, Clinical Nutrition by the University of Barcelona. Partner-Director and Head of the Sports Nutrition Department at Sticsa.
  • M. Graciel·la Porta Ferraz. Official European Master in Nutrition and Metabolism by the University of Barcelona. Partner-Director and Head of the Clinical Nutrition Department and HR Director of Sticsa.
  • M. Mónica Chamorro. Official European Master's Degree in Nutrition and Metabolism and Postgraduate Degree in Mass and Commercial Catering Management from the University of Barcelona. Partner-Director and Head of the Catering Services Consulting Department of Sticsa.
  • Mg. Laura Martín. Master in International Health and Cooperation and Expert in Communication and Digital Marketing in Health. Food Quality Consultant/Auditor. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University.
  • Mg. María Eugenia Delvaux. Master in International Nutrition and Dietetics. Professor at the International Iberoamerican University.
  • Lic. Alba Llorens Hidalgo. Degree in Food Science and Technology. Graduate in Nutrition and Dietetics. Public Health Technician of the Diputació de Barcelona.
  • Lic. Sonia Jiménez Rodríguez. Nutritionist at Sticsa as a coach in nutrition and food hygiene.
  • José Ignacio Gil de Sola Díaz. Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Madrid. Higher Cooking Technician from the Javeriana Professional School. Extensive experience in Hospitality and Catering.

FUNIBER Training Scholarships

The Iberoamerican University Foundation (FUNIBER) allocates periodically an extraordinary economic item for FUNIBER Training Scholarships.

To apply, please fill out the information request form that appears in the web of FUNIBER or contact directly the Foundation’s headquarters in your country that will inform you if you need to provide some additional information.

Once the documentation is received, the Evaluation Committee will determine your application's eligibility for the FUNIBER Training Scholarship.