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News from Progress Michigan
March 25, 2015
It’s Not Just Michigan Prisons: Aramark’s Extensive Rap Sheet
Recent history shows a consistent pattern of problems with Aramark
MICHIGAN — According to a laundry list of recent media reports, Aramark has a consistent record of failure and problems across the country — from prisons and colleges to public schools.
Aramark has made headlines in Michigan for a bevy of problems in state prisons, from drug smuggling and sexual contact between employees and inmates to a botched murder-for-hire plot and, most recently, the revelation that employees served food to inmates that had been eaten by rodents.
As it turns out, Aramark’s problems are hardly unique to Michigan. The Philadelphia-based corporation has come under fire across the country (and Canada) for how it treats its employees, food safety violations and failing to meet basic cleaning standards in public schools. The numerous problems point to a pattern of failure in Aramark’s corporate culture, particularly in schools and colleges.
“It’s quite clear that Aramark’s problems in Michigan are not an isolated event, as evidenced by what we’ve seen from their dealings around the country,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “There’s a clear pattern of problems that can only stem from a profit-driven, rather than service-oriented, corporate culture. How long before these problems we’re seeing across the country start popping up not only in our prisons, but our public schools and universities?”
At a Georgia military college, a chicken head was served to a student earlier this year. Just recently, students at a college in Canada took to social media to voice their displeasure of being served food that was undercooked and in one case, being served food with a dead fly in it.
Apart from food service, there have been some high-profile cases of Aramark screwing up school janitorial services as well. Aramark’s $340 million janitorial contract with the Chicago Public Schools has been mired with issues and “filthy” conditions. A similar contract — worth $6 million — is being reviewed by a school district in Florida after problems ranging from dirty floors to a lack of toilet paper continued to occur.
In Kansas, much like Michigan, there have been repeated problems with Aramark’s food service in the state’s prisons. Back in Michigan, a group of inmates in West Michigan decided to sue Aramark after they got food poisoning from the meals they were served.
“We continue to call on Governor Snyder to come clean with the people of Michigan and detail all of the problems with Aramark in Michigan’s prisons,” Scott continued. “School districts and other units of government exploring a relationship with Aramark deserve all of the information available when making decisions that affect the health and well-being of Michigan’s students.”