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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing
5167.0: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 3:04 PM

Abstract #157672

Infant formula use education and safety

Judith Labiner-Wolfe, PhD1, Sara B. Fein, PhD1, and Katherine Shealy, MPH, IBCLC, RLC2. (1) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740, 301 436-2443, judy.labiner@fda.hhs.gov, (2) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341

This research examines how mothers learn to prepare and store infant formula and the safety of their formula use practices. Our data are from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, a study of mothers from pregnancy to their infant's first birthday. Data were collected from mid 2005 to early 2007. The study includes roughly 2,250 healthy near or full-term singleton infants of women age 18 years or older. Only those feeding their infant formula are included in this analysis. The sampling frame for the study is a nationally distributed consumer opinion panel. We describe the percent of mothers engaging in unsafe infant formula use practices and compare current practices with those described in an earlier study (Fein and Falci's “Infant Formula Preparation, Handling, and Related Practices in the United States,” JADA 10/1999). Unsafe practices include those associated with foodborne illness or infant injury, such as leaving prepared formula standing at room temperature or microwaving bottles. We use regression analysis to identify the association between unsafe infant formula use practices and food safety education, as well as demographic characteristics. At two months postpartum, 62 percent of the mothers were feeding formula (n=1626). Only 12 percent learned how to prepare formula from a health professional. While all but 7 percent of mothers read some label information on safe preparation and storage, many did not read certain sections (12 to 38 percent). The data suggest many mothers are engaging in unsafe infant formula use practices, like heating formula in a microwave (35 percent).

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Food Safety, Infant Health

Related Web page: www.cdc.gov/ifps/

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Consumer/Retail Food Safety Issues

The 135th APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 3-7, 2007) of APHA