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Prisoners: Food

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was allocated for prison food on average per prisoner per day in the last 12 months. (296225)

For the current financial year the National Offender Management Service introduced a benchmark of £2.10 food costs per prisoner per day. Many establishments already operate below this level and provide acceptable meals. Those operating above the benchmark are working towards reducing their costs with appropriate support.

Evidence and experience has proven that acceptable healthy meals can be provided in prisons within this level of funding by carefully managing menu content and using key messages from the Department of Health about promoting a healthy diet.

The average public sector Prison Service daily food cost 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 the prisoner population, local regimes and seasonal availability.