The public sector Prison Service does not set a daily food allowance. Each governor sets a food budget based on the establishment's requirements. The average daily food cost per prisoner in public sector prisons for 2006-07 was £1.97. In establishments operated by the contracted sector this figure ranged from £2.10 to £3.07
Under the terms of Operation Safeguard, police forces may be reimbursed for the costs of food, at around £12 for each prisoner over a 24 hour period.
Prisoners are also held as ad-hoc lockouts (i.e. when the designated prison's reception will be closed before their arrival time). Basic charges for holding a prisoner per night includes an element for providing meals.