Last month I wrote about how for-profit prison food vendor Aramark Correctional Services has routinely runn out of food to serve to the inmates in the prisons where food service has been outsourced to them. Now we learn that maggots have been found in the serving areas of at least one of the prisons where they work:
About 30 prisoners at Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson are being treated for symptoms consistent with food poisoning after maggots and fly larvae were discovered in one of the meal serving lines, an official confirmed Monday.
But a spokeswoman for Aramark Correctional Services, Michigan’s prison food contractor, said there is no evidence linking the discovery of the maggots to the outbreak of illness.
The maggots were discovered Friday in a crack along one of the meal serving lines “a couple inches from where the food trays are located,” said Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan.
“We don’t believe the maggots got into the food, but finding them that close to where food trays sit during serving periods is a serious and significant sanitary issue,” he said.
I’d say “significant sanitary issue” is an understatement.
We talk about it all the time here at Eclectablog: when services being provided by the state of Michigan are outsourced to for-profit companies — whether it’s charter schools, healthcare, or prison food — corners will be cut to ensure maximum profits.
Apparently at the Parnall Correctional Facility, the line item for “get rid of the maggots on the serving line” got cut.
We’re better than this. We really are.
Adding… Since a representative from Aramark is saying “there are no facts that show food played any role in the illnesses reported over the weekend, or is connected in any way to today’s pest issue” and that there’s “absolutely” no connection between the maggots and the prisoner complaints, it appears that running out of food and maggots on the serving line may be only two of three problems Aramark is having at the moment.