Maggots in food among new prison complaints

When I was in prison, the food wasn’t so bad, most of the poop had been cooked out, and I still get a giggle from my daughters when I say, bacon and egg for breakfast, because that was our choice in the gaol: one egg and bacon, or two eggs.

ned-kelly-510x630mm-framedReports obtained by The Associated Press through records requests found numerous problems reported since April, when the state took the rare step of fining the vendor because of contract failures.

The records show 65 instances where Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services failed to provide food or ran out of it — usually the main course, such as hamburgers or chicken patties — while serving inmates, leading to delays and in some cases security concerns as inmates grew frustrated. Substitute items were provided in most cases.

On May 28, guards stopped breakfast “to preclude a mass demonstration” at Warren Correctional Institution in southwest Ohio by inmates upset at being served only white bread and peanut butter after the supply truck was apparently late.

The records also show several days when Aramark employees simply failed to show up and cases of unauthorized relationships between inmates and Aramark workers. Reports allege sexual activity between some inmates and workers.

Records also show five reports of maggots since January in food or the preparation process. Last month, for example, an Aramark employee notified a prison guard at Trumbull Correctional Institution that “one of the two serving lines had maggots falling out of the warming tray.”

Food safety criminals: throw them in jail or ship them off to the colonies

"Right now you can sicken and kill your customers, and [companies] have no consequences other than embarrassment in the marketplace."

That’s what I told My Health News Daily. Jail time may help – it’s that embarrassment thing – but, "The biggest thing that can be done is that anyone producing or selling food needs to adopt a culture of food safety that puts not making your customers sick as your first priority. If your customers are dead or dying, it’s not easy to make money.

"It’s not up to government to produce safe food. It’s up to producers to know how to produce safe food," Powell said.

Fifteen years ago this month, an outbreak of E. coli from unpasteurized apple juice sickened 60 to 70 people, killed a 16-month-old girl from Denver and caused 14 children to develop a serious kidney condition that can require lifelong dialysis treatments.

The federal case brought against juice maker Odwalla resulted in the first criminal conviction for foodborne illness, although no one in the company served time in jail. The company was fined $1.5 million for distributing contaminated juice — the largest fine ever issued in the United States for food poisoning.

James Dickson, a food safety expert and professor at Iowa State University said, "Food isn’t sterile. The only way you would ever get away from foodborne disease outbreaks is if you refused to allow the sale of any raw product in the marketplace.”