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After criticism, pork is back on prison menus

Published Oct. 17, 2015

Quick reversal

After criticism, pork is back on prison menus

After a week of controversy surrounding its abrupt removal of pork dishes from the national menu for federal inmates, the government did an about-face this week and put pork roast back on the prison bill of fare.

The Bureau of Prisons disclosed the decision hours after a Republican Senate leader expressed dismay at the change.

"The pork industry is responsible for 547,800 jobs, which creates $22.3 billion in personal incomes and contributes $39 billion to the gross domestic product," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote in a letter Thursday to Bureau of Prisons director Charles E. Samuels Jr.

Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the federal prison system.

Prison bureau spokesman Edmond Ross had said last week that based on annual surveys of inmates' food preferences, pork lost its appeal in the prison system years ago. In the past two years, the menu had dropped from bacon, pork chops and sausages to just one dish: pork roast, the entree now back on menus.

Washington Post

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