Proos wants to ensure health inspections are occurring in prison kitchens

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos plans to include boilerplate language in the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) budget that would subject all department-operated kitchens to the public safety requirements of the state’s food law and food code.

“As we looked closely at our prison food service operations, one of the items we discovered is that our prison kitchens are not inspected for food safety like other food establishments,” said Proos, chairman of the Senate DOC budget subcommittee. “Because prison kitchens are not licensed, they are not subject to safety inspections. To ensure that all prison food operations are safe, the Senate subcommittee’s budget plan will change that.”

In addition to including the boilerplate language — which directs the department on how to use the funding — Proos, R-St. Joseph, plans to include $50,000 in the budget plan for the inspections.

The Senate DOC budget bill for fiscal year 2019 is Senate Bill 852. The subcommittee plans to meet to discuss the budget outline on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in committee hearing room 1100 of the Binsfeld Office Building.

The governor has proposed switching from privately contracted food services back to food service provided by state workers. Proos previously formed a Senate workgroup to explore training nonviolent prisoners to prepare and serve meals at DOC facilities.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.