Aramark plans to stop serving meals at Florida prisons in January, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Brought in seven years ago to manage the previously self-operated foodservice in the state’s prisons, Aramark invoked a 120-day termination clause in its contract and will serve its last Florida prison meal on January 9th. It cited rapid rises in food costs and a poor working relationship with the state as the reasons for its action.
Aramark had been under fire for a variety of reasons ranging from charges that it profited on serving less expensive, lower quality food to having excessively long serving lines and too many substitutions. To date, it has been fined $261,000 by the state for its violations, according to the Times.
A review by the inspector general for Florida corrections recommended rewriting the contract or resuming self-operation but Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil has indicated he will solicit bids from other private companies to take over the foodservice operation on modified contract terms more favorable to the state. Florida state prisons have more than 92,000 inmates, the nation’s third-largest