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SafeFood©: Seeing in the Dark

Health inspection rules require certain illumination standards in food preparation and storage areas at restaurants and other foodservices – but apparently it is ok to keep customers in the dark! While having a nice dinner at a white cloth restaurant – several of us struggled to read the menu. The “atmosphere” lighting didn’t help nor did the small font size. As I looked around the room – it appeared (at least what I could see!) that most of the diners were of a certain age. Now, given the upscale setting, that makes sense. So, from a practical standpoint, why are font sizes so small and the lighting so dim that the target market can’t see what they are doing? At least our group was prepared!

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Catherine Hemphill Strohbehn has been a faculty member at Iowa State University in the Hospitality Management Program for 30 years. She is a State Specialist with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University. As part of her work, she conducts research, develops educational materials and provides programs to help retail foodservices use their resources effectively and ensure safe food is served. Cathy is a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Certified Professional in Food Safety from the National Environmental Health Association.

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