Food and serving equipment contaminated with live maggots have been found at two Ohio prisons.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed that on June 30 a “hot box was found to have maggots” in the Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville. Prison spokeswoman Jo Ellen Smith said contaminated food was not served to inmates.
Aramark Correctional Services, a private company, feeds state inmates under a $110 million state contract signed last fall.
An incident report said a maggot was found in a turkey roll being sliced for the evening meal at the women’s prison. An Aramark food service assistant manager checked the serving tray and found “a couple of live maggots present so all BBQ turkey using the shaved turkey was pulled from all four lines and all hot boxes” and thrown away.
At the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg, Ohio, live maggots were found “ falling out of a warming tray” on June 24, according to a prison report.
“We’ve made clear Aramark how seriously we take these allegations,” Smith said. “They have taken actions including bringing in a third party company to inspect food service operations.
The staff at the women’s prison had a meeting with inmates to discuss the food situation, Smith said. The state also asked the Union County Health Department to inspect food operations.
Smith said allegations that food served today at the women’s prison was contaminated were investigated and found to be untrue.
The contaminated food is another strike against Aramark, which earlier this year was fined $142,100 by the state for a host of contract violations, including failing to hire enough workers to prepare and serve meals.
Maggots were also found recently in potatoes served to inmates in Michigan prisons, which also have a food service contract with Aramark. The Detroit Free Press reported that more than two dozen prisoners became ill with symptoms like food-poisoning after maggots and fly larvae were found on serving trays.
By Alan Johnson - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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