Food Safety

Food Safety

Foodborne illness affects 48 million people—one in six Americans—each year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. A career in food safety provides opportunities to make a difference in the industry and in the lives of people. Food safety professionals impact the health and well-being of millions by preventing potentially deadly pathogens from contaminating the food supply. The Food Safety concentration trains students to become experts in food safety, prevention and control of disease, and microbiology. This program also trains students for veterinary school as well as other professional schools. The Food Safety concentration is in the Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion major.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: The median annual wage for food scientists was $62,910 in May 2017. Overall employment of food scientists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment of food scientists is projected to grow as research into agricultural production methods and techniques continues.

View the curriculum


This program trains students to be successful in the following careers:

  • Food Microbiologist
  • Food Safety Manager/Technologist
  • HACCP Manager
  • Pre-professional
  • Quality Assurance Manager/Specialist
  • Safe Quality Food Manager
  • Veterinary or Graduate School

Food Science Minor

A minor in food science is available. Students complete 18 hours of courses in Applied Food Chemistry, Composition and Chemical Reactions of Foods, Microbiology of Foods, Food Preservation Technology, plus other courses from which students can choose. View the Undergraduate Catalog for courses.

Meat Science Certificate

The Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences offer a Meat Science Certificate for students who wish to specialize in the meat processing industry. The 24 credit hour curriculum equips students to be career-ready professionals with a comprehensive understanding of the industry and a skill-set designed for them to make an immediate impact in meat science government, academic, or industry positions upon graduation. View the Undergraduate Catalog for courses.

Transfer Guide

Students may transfer to Mississippi State University from regionally accredited community, junior or senior colleges for any period of enrollment, provided they have earned a 2.0 GPA (as computed by Mississippi State University) on all college courses attempted as well as earned a 2.0 GPA on the 30-hours of core courses. Transfer students should look at the transfer course equivalent guide to determine which courses will transfer.


Internships and/or professional experience prepares students for future careers in Food Science. A significant percentage of employers prefer students with work experience outside of a college environment to students with no experience, according to new data released by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Students should check with the MSU Career Center or the program coordinator for internship opportunities.

Graduate Studies

A student may work toward a Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in Food Science and Technology by selecting courses from Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and allied areas such as biochemistry, microbiology, animal and dairy sciences, and other disciplines. Faculty, staff members, and facilities of the cooperating departments are utilized. A Bachelor of Science in Food Technology, Food Science, or related areas will be considered to meet the prerequisites for study toward an advanced degree. Students from other disciplines may be required to take leveling courses generally not to exceed 15 semester hours. Learn More


Students may apply for university, college and departmental scholarships through one application. You can find the scholarship application once you login to myState. Under the banner tab, select Financial Aid and Scholarships. The application is listed as Submit/Revise General Scholarship Application.


The Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion encourages its students to take advantage of the many experiences offered by the departmental student organizations and teams. Clubs are a great way to develop leadership skills and to learn about the various food industries. Visit the organizations page to find out more.