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Connolly’s first TV ad focuses on expired school food

City Councilor John R. Connolly highlighted his crusade against expired food in school cafeterias in the first television commercial of his mayoral campaign.

The 30-second spot focused on an incident in March 2011 when Connolly made surprise visits to four school cafeterias and discovered out-of-date food in freezers. Schools officials ultimately ousted the longtime director of food and nutrition services after finding 280 cases of old food in 40 cafeterias.

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“I walked into our school cafeterias and I found boxes of expired food,” Connolly says in the advertisement, which his campaign said would begin airing Tuesday evening. “We uncovered it. We held hearings. And we fixed it.”

Connolly concluded, “As mayor, I’ll make education job one.”

The advertisement included a Boston Public Schools student identified as Roxlind who says the cafeteria food “had this foul taste.” A parent identified as Beliza asked how anyone could have ethically fed the food to children.

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“John Connolly showed great care and respect for our children,” Beliza says in the ad.

US Department of Agriculture guidelines say that properly frozen food can remain safe after expiration dates, but that it can deteriorate in taste and nutritional value. A USDA spokeswoman told the Globe in 2011 that the department urges food service officials to “err on the side of caution,’’ especially when serving children.

Connolly’s campaign would not say how much the campaign spent on its initial television buy or where the advertisement would air. The campaign did say that it would run television ads continuously until Election Day on Sept. 24.

Several other mayoral candidates have already had commercials on the air. Last week City Councilor Rob Consalvo launched his first advertisement, which showed the candidate wearing a Celtics jersey and shooting a basketball as he talked about his experience in government. The 30-spot was filmed on a court at Iacono Playground in Hyde Park.

“On the City Council, I helped to reduce gun violence with ShotSpotter technology, and as mayor, I’ll enact a felony gun offender registry,” Consalvo says in the advertisement. “I’ll fight to put our neighborhood schools first, because my kids go to Boston public schools. I’m Rob Consalvo, I’m all in for Boston.”

Consalvo’s ad can be found here.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at acryan@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.
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