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Prisons: Food

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the daily expenditure per prisoner on prison meals in each year since 2003. (264712)

The average public sector Prison Service daily food expenditure per prisoner in England and Wales since 2003-04 to 2007-08 (latest available data) is set out in the table.

Individual governors of public sector prisons have had the authority to set their own catering budgets since 1994 and there is no set financial formula that prisons are required to follow when setting establishment food budgets. Governors make choices on the budget allocated to food based on a variety of issues including the prisoner population and the type of regime.

Average expenditure per prisoner includes all food and beverage requirements. Prisons provide breakfast, midday and evening meal and a supper snack together with all condiments and beverages. Menu requirements vary between establishments and are based on consumer preferences, local regimes and seasonal availability.

Financial year

Average public sector Prison Service daily food expenditure per prisoner1 (£)











1 The daily food cost has been calculated using available management information from the Prison Service finance systems and assumes that all transactions have been allocated and recorded against the correct accounting codes.