Documents Back Up Worker’s Claims Of Maggots In Food At Ohio Prison
10TV has obtained new information about ongoing problems with maggots found in Ohio Prison kitchens.
10TV has learned maggots were found in a fourth Ohio prison in Cleveland.
A former inmate and a former Ohio Reformatory for Women kitchen employee are now speaking out about the maggots.
"Oh there's a big problem. I seen it firsthand," said former Aramark employee Ashley Thornhill.
Problems Thornhill noticed from her first day of work at ORW.
"I witnessed blood from hamburger mixing with chicken," said Thornhill.
A health inspection on January 9 confirms her claim. They found raw meat right next to cooked meat. The inspector ordered this to be corrected immediately.
The next day, Thornhill says she made an even more disturbing discovery.
"At first I had to do a double take because I seriously thought it was rice," Thornhill said. "I had found maggots on line three when I was getting ready to serve dinner."
Another woman who saw them is Allison Dicenzo. She was an inmate and working in the kitchen that day.
"Those drain tubes where they drop the food in for the water, they were in there. There were a few of them that were up underneath where we drop the food," said Dicenzo. "We really didn't have much to clean it up with, they really didn't give us chemicals or anything like that to clean it up with."
Thornhill requested vinegar to clean the equipment, but the bugs were discovered again the next day. This is all documented in an incident report.
"They were actually inside the water spigots and things like that, hatching inside the water lines," said Thornhill.
"I didn't eat it. I was leery of a lot of the food," said Dicenzo.
She says much of what they were fed at ORW was inedible.
"Finding the rotten potatoes or rotten cabbage," said Dicenzo, "They would give us hard boiled eggs. You didn't know if they were cooked 'til you broke them open."
Thornhill says she filed a total of five complaints, but she was written up twice, then let go.
"They flat out told me that the issues that were ongoing is because of the fact I wasn't watching my inmates close enough," Thornhill said.
Aramark responded with this:
"Aramark has served billions of meals to millions of inmates at hundreds of correctional facilities around the country and never encountered sudden incidences like those reported in two states in the span of one week. Each corrections system is operated independently and the only common denominator is that both of them recently privatized their food services in a decision that has drawn criticism from some special interest groups."
"They didn't want the hassle of someone spreading that rumor. Well it's not a rumor. It's the truth," said Thornhill.
The Union County Health Department visited ORW Tuesday. The report shows they didn't find maggots but did find several pest violations. Gnats were found throughout the kitchen and ants swarming on food. The inspector says the problem was better than the previous visit, but it is noted as a recurring violation.
State Representative John Patrick Carney wrote a letter to the corrections director asking for more oversight and accountability.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections is also investigating reports of maggots at Trumbull Correction Institution and Noble Correctional Institution within the last few weeks.
10TV uncovered maggots were also found at the Northeast Pre-Release Center for women in Cleveland.