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The Big Apple’s health department is moving into some new digs and bringing a whole slew of new mandates and edicts along for the ride. This from the NY Daily News:

The updated rules – which range from what workers can serve at agency powwows to how loud they can talk in the office – come as the Health Department begins to move into its new Queens digs today.

Employees also got a bright-colored brochure stipulating what can and can’t be served at meetings and parties.

Tap water is a menu must when food or drinks are served. Other beverages must be less than 25 calories per 8 ounces.

“Cut muffins and bagels into halves or quarters, or order mini sizes. Offer thinly-sliced, whole-grain bread,” the brochure states.

Deep-fried foods are an absolute no-no and “cannot be served.”

For celebrations, cake and air-popped popcorn – “popped at the party and served in brown paper lunch bags” – are allowed.

But when a “celebration cake” is served, cookies can’t be offered.

“These standards are mandatory for meetings and events sponsored by the Health Department,” the brochure states.

Health honchos say they are just practicing what they preach.

“The Health Department is leading by example by updating its guidelines for food and beverages served at agency meetings and events,” spokeswoman Erin Brady said.

Still, one Health Department worker said she was surprised by the brochure’s nitpicking detail.

“This seems like micromanaging,” she said.

No, what it seems like is precedent. And there’s little reason to think similar edicts won’t soon be headed to the public at-large, endorsed and lobbied for by the same nanny-nation health department that pushed through public smoking bans and calorie-counting menus.

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