Reopening Restaurant Dining Areas Safely During the Pandemic and Beyond


Duration:60 minutes

The pandemic has significantly reduced dining room sales for most of the foodservice industry with losses of 60–70% over the last 6 months. In order for the restaurant industry to fully recover these sales, it needs to fully implement the environmental health controls that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends are necessary for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, which will also reduce the risk of foodborne disease transmission. These controls must now include the adoption of area-specific air ventilation and filtration standards that should be augmented with air purification systems to decontaminate the immediate air between customers sitting in occupied spaces when not wearing face coverings. Customers must also participate in these public health measures to maximize the prevention of infectious disease transmission while dining in restaurants.  

Attendees will learn how to:
  1. Implement all of the environmental health controls that the CDC recommends for occupied spaces in restaurants, including those known to reduce the risk of foodborne disease transmission in restaurants  
  2. Begin the air purification of immediate spaces to further reduce viral transmission in occupied dining areas
  3. Encourage customers to participate in public health measures by improved public health communications and monitoring 


Hal King, Ph.D.

CEO/Managing Partner

Active Food Safety

Dr. Hal King is Managing Partner at Active Food Safety, a Advisory Services and Digital Products company, and Founder/CEO of Public Health Innovations, a public health strategy and design company. Dr. King is also an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Georgia College of Public Health. Dr. King is a public health professional who has worked in the investigation of respiratory and foodborne and other disease outbreaks (at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Public Health Service), performed federally funded research on the causation and prevention of infectious diseases (at Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases), and worked in the prevention of intentional adulteration of foods and food defense in the United States and for Army force health (with the U.S. Army Reserves Consequence Management Unit, 20th CBRNE Command). Dr. King is formally the Director of Food and Product Safety at Chick-fil-A Inc. (a national restaurant chain with then over 2,000 restaurants and $10 billion in annual sales) where he designed and led Chick-fil-A’s Food Safety Management Program for 11 years; the topic of his first book, Food Safety Management: Implementing a Food Safety Program in a Food Retail Business (Springer). Dr. King’s second book, co-authored with Dr. Wendy Bedale, Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (Academic Press) shows how the foodservice industry can leverage the FDA requirements of human food manufacturers to ensure safe source of foods in their supply chain. Dr. King’s latest book, Food Safety Management Systems, was published in 2020 as part of the IAFP Food Microbiology Series by Springer; this book shows the foodservice industry how they can implement Process HACCP-based management systems in their foodservice locations to prevent foodborne disease illnesses and outbreaks. Dr. King is also the co-author and author of several articles and book chapters on public health interventions, holds several U.S. Patents and Patent Pending technologies, Copyrights and Trademarks, and has helped the food industry via development of new products and services. Dr. King is the recipient of the 2018 NSF International Food Safety Leadership and Innovation Award.

(Moderator) Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D.

Editorial Director

Food Safety Magazine

Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D., is the editorial director of Food Safety Magazine, a position she has held since 2008. From 2005–2008, she was the chief editor of Controlled Environments Magazine and the science editor of Animal Lab News and Lab Manager Magazine at Vicon Publishing. At Eaton Publishing (1999–2005), she rose from the positions of assistant scientific editor for BioTechniques and acquisitions editor for BioTechniques Press to the editor of content development and acquisitions and director of commercial product development. While at Eaton (then acquired by Informa), she served as the chief editor of Preclinica. She received a B.Sc. in biology in 1989 from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1994 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.


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