COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday, an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Spokesperson confirmed to WKBN that her department is concerned about the food service provided to several state prisons by Aramark.
Ohio DRC Communications Chief JoEllen Smith said that Aramark has made plans to have a third-party organization inspect their food preparation. Workers found maggots on food preparation devices twice within the past week, once at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio and once at the Trumbull Correctional Institute in Leavittsburg, Ohio.
Tuesday, the ACLU of Ohio urged the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) to end its contract with Aramark Correctional Services, the prison system’s private food vendor, according to a press release from the ACLU.
News reports on Monday indicated that maggot infestations were found in Aramark food in two Ohio prisons, including two separate incidents at the Ohio Reformatory for Women and one incident at the Trumbull Correctional Institution.
“This is not an isolated incident that prison officials can expect to solve without taking broader action. Aramark’s long track record of incompetence and unsanitary conditions is well documented,” said ACLU Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner. “Officials have already tried to hold Aramark accountable by levying steep fines and that has not worked. It is time we recognize this experiment has failed and cancel the contract.”
In April 2014, the state revealed it had fined private food contractor Aramark over $142,000 for “falling short of quality levels” and creating “unfortunate operational challenges” in Ohio prisons.
“Aramark’s failures not only put prisoner’s health and well-bring at risk, they also jeopardize the safety of employees at the prisons,” Brickner said. “We must treat those we incarcerate with basic human dignity. Food riddled with maggots, scant portions, and constant incompetence is simply unacceptable. We must demand better from the state.”