A class action lawsuit on behalf of former and current inmates at four Oregon prisons alleges that the state’s Department of Corrections fed them chicken and fish marked “not for human consumption,” The Oregonian reports. The lawsuit accuses the Corrections Department of civil rights violations and “deliberate indifference to health and safety.” It seeks to compel state prisons to provide adequate nutrition and sanitary food handling. The prisons cited are Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem and Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville.
Before state health inspections, the suit charges, prison officials directed inmates to clean up kitchens and remove “not for human consumption” food and move green meat and moldy, spoiled food to mobile refrigerator and freezer trucks, only to return the spoiled food to the kitchen after inspection. Inmate Bridgette Lewis worked in warehousing in the kitchen of a women’s prison and witnessed the delivery of food marked “not for human consumption” being prepared and served to her and fellow inmates, the suit said. She was ordered to serve the “substandard food over her objections.” Another former inmate, Tiffanie Lewis, said she worked in the kitchen in 2015 and saw “not for human consumption” bait fish and spoiled milk, meats and produce served to inmates. In stark contrast, she prepared “prime beef roasts” for prison staff. Inmates were often nauseated during and after meals and suffered stomach and intestinal pain and discomfort, the suit says.