Food Safety

food safety


The Public Health Certificate with an emphasis in Food Safety is specifically designed for the working professional or student who wants to increase their knowledge of food safety in a public health context. The certificate combines coursework in food-borne diseases with Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health.

Successful completion of this certificate will be denoted on a student’s transcript by “Completed Graduate Certificate in Public Health.” A paper certificate with the same notation will be mailed to the students home 8-12 weeks after final grades are posted.

Features of the Graduate Certificate in Public Health

  • can be completed in 3-5 semesters depending on starting semester and course availability
  • consists of 5 courses of 3 credits each
  • requires students to maintain a 3.0 GPA and have no grades lower than a “C”
  • requires a final exam covering the 10 Essential Services of Public Health
  • courses in this certificate program may be transferred into the University of Florida’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program upon admission with a B or better grade, provided that the courses were completed less than 7 years prior.


Food Safety Certificate Course Plan

Applicants will choose their specific plan of study and course schedule when completing the departmental application. Course schedules are listed at

Course Descriptions and Syllabi

PHC 6001 – Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health (3)
Overview of epidemiology methods used in research studies that address disease patterns in community and clinic-based populations. Includes distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specific populations and application to control of health problems. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6937 – Introduction to Foodborne Diseases (3)
This is an intermediate level course, which will introduce students to the major pathogens associated with foodborne diseases, their epidemiology, and approaches to outbreak investigation and control of foodborne illness. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6313—Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health (3) – this course moves to spring semester starting spring 2013
Survey of major topics of environmental health. Sources, routes, media, and health outcomes associated with biological, chemical, and physical agents in environment. Effects of agents on disease, water quality, air quality, food safety, and land resources. Current legal framework, policies, and practices associated with environmental health and intended to improve public health. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6052 — Introduction to Biostatistical Methods (3)
Introduction to the concepts and methods of biostatistical data analysis. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, standard probability distributions, sampling distributions, point and confidence interval estimation, hypothesis testing, power and sample size estimation, one- and two-sample parametric and non-parametric methods for analyzing continuous or discrete data, and simple linear regression. SAS statistical software for data management, statistical analysis and power calculations. Required core course for students in biostatistics, environmental health, and epidemiology concentrations. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6050 – Statistical Methods for Health Science I (3)
Appropriate use of data summarization and presentation of basic statistical methods, including ANOVA, nonparametric methods, inference on discrete data, inference on survival data, and regression methods for continuous, binary, and survival data. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

Pick 1 of the following courses:

PHC 6002 – Epidemiology of Infectious Disease (3)
Epidemiology, prevention, and control of infectious diseases impacting local, national, and global community health; epidemiology methods used in disease surveillance and measures used in slowing or preventing spread of disease. –Prerequisite: PHC 6001 and PHC 6050. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6519– Zoonotic Diseases in Humans and Animals (3)
Introduction to major zoonotic diseases, including human and animal presentations, epidemiology, means of prevention and control, available diagnostics, available treatments, and associated human and animal regulations for each disease. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6195 – Health Information for Diverse Populations: Theory & Methods (3)
Social and behavioral science (SBS) is a core area in public health. A critical skill for SBS students is the ability to develop and to communicate health information that is appropriate for specific audiences, including high-risk populations, and can effectively increase knowledge AND change attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. This is an introductory course; as such, we will be examining basic concepts and social scientific research in persuasive communication to gain an understanding of how individuals process and respond to public health information. The overall aims of the course are to: (a) survey the critical components of health information using relevant theories and research; (b) introduce qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering target populations’ health attitudes and perceptions and designing population-specific health information; and (c) practice developing health information products. Each class will consist of theoretical and methodological lectures/discussions as well as presentations of relevant research. The success of the course will depend heavily upon active class participation. That said, students are strongly encouraged to present their thoughts and ideas; ask critical questions; and listen and respond respectfully to the ideas and inquiries of others.  Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

PHC 6521 – Fundamentals of Public Health Nutrition (3)
This course will provide an introduction to Public Health Nutrition and the role of the Public Health Nutrition professional. Emphasis will be on definition, identification and prevention of nutrition related disease, as well as improving health of a population by improving nutrition. Malnutrition will be discussed on a societal, economic, and environmental level. It will include the basics of nutritional biochemistry as it relates to malnutrition of a community and targeted intervention. Finally, it will review existing programs and policies, including strengths, weaknesses and areas for modification or new interventions. Sample syllabi are available via the Course Descriptions and Syllabi page.

  • An admission to the Graduate Certificate in Public Health is not an admission to the UF Graduate School.
  • Credits from other universities cannot be transferred into this certificate program.

For more information, please contact Katherine Pizarro at