266003 Exposing Expired Foods in a Vulnerable Community: Public Health Confusion and Concern Around Food Expiration Labels

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Breanna Morrison, MPL , Community Health and Education, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, CA
LaVonna Lewis, PhD, MPH , Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
A study looking at the food environment in South Los Angeles conducted by the University of Southern California found a high rate of expired products primarily in lower income and inner city areas. Community Health Councils, Inc. (CHC), a health advocacy and policy organization developed the Neighborhood Food Watch (NFW) as a result of earlier assessments conducted by the African American Building a Legacy of Health (AABLH) Coalition that demonstrated South Los Angeles had comparatively fewer food markets than a comparison area, and fewer healthy food items. The coalition concluded that stores should be monitored for the quality of goods while it worked with other community-based groups to bring more food markets offering higher quality goods to the area. The NFW enlisted local residents to fill out checklists that measured the availability and quality of foods in their local stores. Residents returned their checklists to CHC who, working with researchers from the University of Southern California, compiled and analyzed the checklists. These findings are then discussed with the coalition, and used to formulate policy and programmatic responses. After the completion of the Neighborhood Food Watch Campaign, CHC developed an NFW toolkit to assist other underserved communities with developing a model to identify noteworthy policy or environmental strategies to address health disparities by improving the products and service quality in supermarkets. The toolkit provides a step-by-step outline of what residents can do to equip themselves with the tools needed to take action to improve the quality of food in local supermarkets.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the effectiveness of monitoring systems in place to study the extent of expired goods in food resource environments located in vulnerable communities and to better understand government’s role in this section of food labeling.

Keywords: Food Safety, Food Security

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on the project for the past two years and contributed to the data analysis and research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.