As of May 23, 2011 New York City’s parks and beaches are smoke-free.
The NYC Health Department’s Bureau of Communicable Disease and Public Health Laboratory is responsible for the detection, control and prevention of communicable disease, including food-borne illness from harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Every year, the NYC Health Department investigates between 30 and 40 food-borne outbreaks in a city that presents unique challenges to outbreak investigation. New Yorkers consume a significant portion of food that is prepared outside the home and many NYC residents shop at small delis rather than big supermarkets. These factors present barriers to obtaining reliable food and shopping histories from patients. In addition, poor record keeping at the numerous smaller food retail establishments makes food traceability extremely difficult.
In NYC, there are approximately 50 individual cases of E. coli and 40 cases of Listeria infections each year, compared to 1,300 reported cases of salmonellosis. Federal grant funding through the Fund for Public Health in New York is allowing the NYC Health Department to enhance Salmonella surveillance and increase capacity to conduct routine investigations. With additional resources, the NYC Health Department will be better able to both detect and respond to multi-state outbreak investigations of food-borne disease.