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Evaluating Interventions to Improve Food Safety Practices Across Nyc Restaurants and Mobile Food Vendors


Improper food handling practices in the food service setting are important risk factors for foodborne illness. New Yorkers eat out nearly one billion times each year, and two-thirds eat meals from a restaurant, deli, coffee shop or bar at least once per week, so the potential public health impact of unsafe food handling practices in New York City (NYC) restaurants is enormous. NYC is home to over 24,000 restaurants and 5000 mobile vendors. The NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene is responsible for permitting and inspecting these entities for compliance with food safety and hygiene rules. With support from CDC EHS-Net, we will develop and evaluate a series of food safety interventions to be distributed to the NYC food service industry. We will use data collected during routine inspections to inform content of interventions and assist in targeting the poorest performing restaurants. We will integrate a systematic collection of environmental assessment data into our foodborne outbreak investigation protocol to better understand the environmental factors associated with foodborne illness. These data will be reported to the National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System to support national surveillance initiatives. We will also participate in multisite food safety studies proposed by CDC EHS-Net. We will promote food safety in NYC restaurants and mobile food vending settings using three types of interventions: 1) restaurant operator and food worker education, 2) enhanced training of Health Department inspectors who educate operators during inspections, and 3) regulations and policies. We will evaluate the effectiveness of the food safety promotion tools in use in NYC to inform restaurant and mobile vending food safety programs both in NYC and nationally.

Fund For Public Health in New York Inc
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