2018 NY CoE Food Safety Symposium

New York’s Second Annual Symposium is a Success

On July 17-18, 2018, the New York CoE hosted a regional Food Safety Symposium at Cornell University to discuss emergent food safety and foodborne illness investigation issues. In total, 25 representatives from 11 NY CoE network states/jurisdictions (representing laboratory, epidemiology and environmental health) attended (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NYC, PA, Philadelphia and RI), in addition to representatives from other CoEs (OR and CO). Three program directors from the CDC also participated. NY CoE was represented by 12 NYS DOH food safety staff members; two representatives from NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets; and six representatives from Cornell University’s Department of Food Science and Food Safety Lab staff. Two Cornell University MPH students enrolled in the pilot NY CoE Student Practicum Program also attended. The focus of the symposium was to discuss the “Transition of foodborne disease surveillance to WGS – building regional strength and facilitating collaborations between laboratory, epidemiology, and environmental health.” In addition to lectures, the agenda included a tabletop exercise based on a Listeria outbreak (incorporating WGS wgMLST analysis/interpretation and environmental sampling) and ample opportunities for collaborative information exchange. Agenda topics were based on the results of a needs poll among NY CoE regional partners, and included: WGS, CIDT, AMR, environmental sampling and CoE products. Through symposium dialogue, future training and resource development needs were identified. Overall, participants found the symposium extremely/very useful (97%) and attendance at a regional symposium in the future was rated as extremely likely (93%).