Suspect chili reveals woes for prison contractor
Florida's prison system had already fined its food provider $241,000 this year over staffing and supply issues. And then 277 inmates said they became sick last month after eating chili.
The April 25 incident at a Panhandle prison has raised the latest question into the performance of Aramark Corp., which took over prison food service in 2001 as part of former Gov. Jeb Bush's privatization push.
"I think in the past we probably didn't manage the contract as closely as we should have," said Richard Prudom, chief of staff for the Florida Department of Corrections, on Monday. "I think they are just taking a little time catching up. But these fines mean we're serious."
The suspect food was served at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton. Prisoners complained of diarrhea and upset stomachs. The problems did not persist, and health officials have not determined whether the chili was the cause. But the situation has added to ongoing trouble for Aramark, a powerful Philadelphia company that has been at the forefront of outsourcing efforts nationwide. (story here)
Also, check out what Florida inmates eat.