Corporatism, Privatization — June 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Oh, Aramark, why can’t we quit you? More maggots found in prison food.


Another day, another scandal for Aramark, the food vendor for prisons in Michigan. With each new scandal, Gov. Rick Snyder’s dogged persistence in continuing to outsource this state government service to a private, for-profit company is called deeper and deeper into question.

This time, maggots were found in potatoes in a kitchen at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility near Jackson:

The Michigan Department of Corrections ordered its prison food vendor to throw out all its potatoes at a Jackson-area prison and scrub down the kitchen today after another incident of maggots found in food, an official confirmed.

Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the department, said maggots were discovered among potatoes that food vendor Aramark Correctional Services was preparing for lunch at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility near Jackson.

Prisoners supervised by Aramark were cutting the potatoes when the maggots were spotted, Gautz said.

Prison staff got involved and ordered all the potatoes at the facility thrown out before any of them made it to the oven or were served, he said. Staff also ordered a complete cleaning of the kitchen and sanitization of any utensils that might have come into contact with the potatoes, Gautz told the Free Press.

Prisoners were sent back to their cells and served a new meal about an hour later after the kitchen was cleaned, he said.

There’s a real possibility that prisoners actually consumed food tainted with the fly larvae, too:

Department spokesman Chris Gautz said Wednesday that inmates had been served potatoes before maggots were discovered in a batch of uncooked potatoes being cut in preparation to being served. But he said all the remaining potatoes were thrown out a short time later and the department had received no reports of inmates finding maggots on their plates.

This is what it has come to: Michigan prisoners must now inspect every bite of food they take before they injest it to be sure there aren’t any maggot surprises hidden inside.

Ironically, if you go to the Aramark website, their tagline is “Enriching and Nourishing Lives”:

Screenshot from Aramark website.

Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, is calling for a full investigation if Gov. Snyder won’t fire Aramark:

Once again, it seems that Aramark has failed in their duty to follow their contract with Michigan taxpayers. The time for a full investigation of Aramark is long past due. If Gov. Snyder, Attorney General Schuette and the Department of Corrections are not going to hold Aramark accountable, then the Michigan Legislature must launch an investigation.

It’s time, Gov. Snyder. It’s time for you to admit that your experiment with privatization of government services has failed. It’s time for Aramark to go. What’s it going to take? Aramark employees have been busted having sexual relations with inmates, bringing drugs to inmates, and even serving food that had been gnawed on by rodents. There have been food shortages and other discoveries of maggots in food service areas (twice before, actually) run by the private company that profits from our tax dollars. Our Republican Attorney General is even investigating one of their employees for soliciting a hit on a prisoner.

All of this comes as Aramark is asking for a raise from the state coffers.

Come on, Gov. Snyder.

It’s time.