7 Jun 2012

Complaints soar about healthy prison food

8:59 am on 7 June 2012

Prisons have recorded a surge in complaints about the food they serve. Inmates last year laid 374 food complaints, a rise of 82% on 2008.

The Corrections Department says the increase in complaints is not because the food is getting worse, but because it's healthier.

The introduction of trim milk fuelled the increase, as did meat sandwiches being replaced by grated carrot and relish sandwiches.

Overwhelming opposition led to the sandwiches being removed from the menu last year.

Corrections says prisoners don't like change and with about 8000 to feed every day, everyone won't always be happy.

But all complaints are treated seriously.

The Corrections Association, the main union for prison officers, says most food complaints are inmates simply whinging because they have the opportunity to do so.

Some 24,000 meals are prepared every day, which are described by the department as basic and nutritious.

Of almost 1300 food complaints made in the past four years, only four have been upheld by the Prison Inspectorate.