Mayor Defends New Health Dept. Policy On French Fries, Bagels & Stinky Perfumes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended a new set of employee guidelines Monday set forth by the New York City Department of Health.

In an apparent effort to lead by example, the Health Department’s “Life in the Cubicle Village” includes of list of what employees can eat and smell like ahead of the agency’s move to its new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.

“They’ve got to put out some guidelines — how much they’re followed, I don’t know. But there is nothing wrong with them and if they didn’t do it, you’d be criticizing them,” Bloomberg told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks hears from Mayor Bloomberg

The new rules bar fried foods like french fries in addition to banning strong perfumes and colognes. The department also suggests cutting bagels and muffins into halves or quarters and serving air-popped popcorn during agency meetings and events, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb details the Health Department’s new guidelines

Many Health Department workers declined to speak to CBS 2 about the guidelines on Monday.  However, one employee who did said fellow workers were “fine with them,” adding “it’s all for our good health.”

“Supposing the Health Department did not have in their snack bar stuff that was all dietetic and good for you, you’d be going crazy with the story in the other direction,” Bloomberg told members of the media.

The new guidelines state cookies should not be served when there is a celebration cake at an agency gathering. In addition,  the department also said that employees should not eavesdrop, limit conversations, and set cell phones to vibrate.

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  • troll master

    SO- they wish write policies for there health division that make them all look like a bunch of rubber stamp slaves following an obsessive compulsive overlord. Personally, i would wage war- Fat Gut Hill billy style smelling like pig grease and smokes… all the way baby! :) then if someone complained..i would bust out a mega can of axe and deploy the entire thing. And if i was fired…i would find a vat of french fry grease then lather my supervisors tires with it…UMM GOOD…along with adding some toothpase to the windshield for good measure…and a i love NY sticker on the rear…maxium troll for life

  • Paige

    THANK YOU, BLOOMBERG! DISCRIMINATION on those with asthma, migraines, etc. ENDED! This is major victory for those of us who’ve either suffered in silence or at the hands of selfish, hateful co-workers and bosses by being persecuted or fired for being SICK!

  • Carmela

    What if people come to work with body order and the strong perfume was covering it up?? Will they now receive a citation for public stinkiness?? How bout if someone is a cigarette smoker and the smell like a walking ashtray(happens everyday) will they be repremanded?? Where will this end. We are adults!! I already eat healthy by my own adult choice, but I would not presume to make someone feel bad because they are eating french fries for lunch! I mean really? Maybe they should first provide a cafeteria with delicious healthy meals being prepared, which there is NONE provided. Maybe they should also provide a work fitness center so we can be in optimal health since there is nothing in that area of LIC where the new DOH building is! I’ll tell you why they don’t provide any of these things because it cost money to provide HEALTHY food options and maintenance of a health facility that Mayor Cheapo will not pay for, but he can sit around and mandate this and mandate that with no real options that help the people he wants to be healthy!! That is what doesn’t make sense not necessarily the wanting us to be healthy aspect of all of this!

  • chemically sensitive

    I have become chemically sensitive, and fragrances make me really sick (spike in BP,brain fog). Many of you speak about freedoms, how about the right of people who are sensitive to a safe workplace?

  • Crank E. Codger

    If I can’t crop-dust my co-workers, well by gum the terrorists have won!

  • Bobbyshades

    Soon the government will be telling us not to have sex in the workplace.

  • Harnes

    How dare anyone complain. The state knows what is right for us. From, birth to the grave we are but tools of the state. Words such as freedom should be use, for are we know free to be improved by the state. Glory to Big Brother. Glory to the free people who understand true freedom begins when we sacrifice free will to bow to the decisions of all those chosen to make decisions for the state!

    If they tried this is the 1980s there would be food fights! But we have all be cowed into being good little workers who known the state deserves obedience!

  • New Yawker from Joisy

    Does Bloomberg look like George Bush ?

  • DianeB

    A lot of offices no longer have cubicles, they have open floor plans. One person’s garlic, curry, onions, fish or grease can be another person’s nightmare. We’ve all encountered people whose scent precedes them into a room. Perhaps their sense of smell isn’t strong, or they love the odors, but why should everyone around them have to endure them as well? I think this is very reasonable. I’ve seen signs for years about being mindful of others, but everyone ignores them. It’s not a bad idea to be more forceful with this concept.

  • gg

    Bloomberg get an f’n life! You are a NAZI!!

  • edward

    So, the smoking bans and enforced calorie counts weren’t enough ?
    Understood that certain workplace rules are expected but this tops all !!
    This city has become dependendant upon unenforcable legislation to control behavior.
    The only way the message will sink in is when the tourist industry , that has bailed out the tax revenues really starts to decline. After all, there are two other Disney properties, if people want that. Why come to a place that now rivals Singapore for all the don’ts….is chewing gum next, mayor Mike?

  • Mke From Queens

    Bloomberg Has to go. He is really getting out of hand. he is in his ILLEGAL 3rd term. 3rd terms usually don’t work. Bloomberg’s 3rd term isn’t working either. He is Mr. Corporate and that’s not working either. 311 don’t work, City Time didn’t work. All Bloomberg’s follies don’t work.

  • tam

    I don’t like the color red, raises my blood pressure and is unhealthy, Can this 3rd term Nero mayor and his lackey health commissioner ban the color red from the cubicles.

  • Josh

    Thanks Mike Bloomberg for letting one of your fine agencies waste our tax dollars. Instead of serving the public, the DoH spent our money on a set of “workplace rules”. Here’s the best workplace rule: Anything goes as long as nobody gets hurt and the work gets done on time. I don’t care what you eat or how bad you smell. Just get the job done on time at the expected cost! It’s that simple.

  • lillie

    Why doesn’t he focus on the real NYC problems – how petty can this world get? NYC will lead the way -looks like.

    • midi-man

      He can he is incapable of doing something productive. He is great at running his big trap and extending his arm at the elbow, bending it and patting himself on the back. Anyone can see if you rename a bridge for Koch, who was a loser Mayor , has to be a moron.

  • Elyse Lottier

    What a wonderful thing to hear!! I worked for the state in a healthcare environment and have suffered being assaulted by co-workers use of perfumes and colognes. I begged, complained, cajoled, attempted to appeal to human decency, went as far as Albany and got no relief. I was thisclose to finding a lawyer but instead I found a better job. Good for the DOH and the City of New York. Maybe the state will follow suit.

    • I heart Elyse

      You had me at ‘cajoled’.

    • Common scents

      I have a form of asthma called cough-variant. It’s triggered by the volatile oils in certain things, like mint and menthol. When co-workers chew mint gum, I have to use an inhaler. People may think it’s totalitarian to monitor odors, but for a small group of us, it really is a health issue.

  • sharon wolff

    OMG! I don’t get it. Nice new building, why not have a little “kitchen”area where food is permitted! As for perfume, how about a memo requesting office workers to be “mindful” of the amount of perfume, cologne they use. What the heck is Bloomie trying to accomplish here?

    • lovepotionnumbernine

      Some perfumes and scented potions are enough to make you doze off and fall asleep at your desk. Beware of strong potions in the air! Pick pockets love to use spray potions in the air in dark night clubs to stick their hands in your pocket! It is disgusting and gross to force ones scent into others air space! Ecck!

      • Joisy

        What if I gotta poot ? Will George Bush’s twin brother have me arrested and deported ?

  • youaretheleader

    Yay! Thank you Mayor Bloomberg! I hate hate hate stinky perfumes in the workplace! I hope all major corporations follow your lead! yay!



  • The Joker

    Oh I get it…this a delayed April Fools joke from CBS….LOL…you got me!…

  • Cheeseburger

    Hey instead of worrying about french fries sure wish he’d worry about the high rents in the city….

  • bf

    What if you have gas. I often get seriously smelly gas that makes women vomit. Will I get a day off with pay? I think Bloomberg wants to make his mark on NYC as being the most childish city in the world. People will no longer come to see manhattan they will come to see all the silly people obeying all the rules. Or, Maybe they won’t want to come to a city where people aren’t expected to naturally act like adults and show concern for their neighbors without it being a law

    • Reggie

      When you get your seriously smelly gas, hoist your keister to the bathroom and let it out there. Then go see a doctor to find out what’s causing your problem.

  • J

    Welcome to The United Communist Emirates

  • Nothing to sneeze at

    My co-worker has to yell when she sneezes. I wish they would put a ban on that too.

    • Ah-choo

      I have a coworker who screams when she sneezes. It’s very annoying, but she can’t help it. We all joke about it all the time and she’s probably constantly embarrassed by it. But odors in the office are a lot worse.

  • Robert Michael Simon

    When will this Nanny-state Nazi EVER get his political career short-circuited?

  • Pepe LePew

    What if you come to work smelling strongly of french fries?

  • Joe the Pimpernel

    There is nothing wrong with micromanagement.

    It gives control-freaks something to do with their time.

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