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Michigan ends Aramark contract after months of constant complaints

Jul 13, 2015

Aramark uniforms delivery truck, Westland Michigan
Credit Dwight Burdette / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

After 19 months of maggoty food, traces of rodents, workers engaging in sex acts with inmates, and much more, the state of Michigan today has terminated its contract with Aramark to feed prison inmates.

The Detroit News’ Chad Livengood tells us that each side has said this decision was the result of a mutual agreement.

Since Aramark took charge of feeding Michigan’s inmates in December 2013, Livengood says they have consistently failed to meet expectations.

“176 … Aramark employees have been kicked out of prisons for all kinds of different lewd behavior and not following very strict guidelines within the prisons,” he tells us.

A $98,000 fine against Aramark was quietly waived in March of last year, but Livengood says that five months later the state came back and leveled a $200,000 fine against the company.

According to Livengood, complaints about Aramark’s service concerned the quality of the food being served, unauthorized changes to the menu, continued employee misconduct, and the incredible rate of turnover within the company.

“They found that when you pay people $12 an hour, the turnover’s a lot more than it was when these were state workers feeding the inmates at something like $20 an hour,” he says.

In the end, Livengood tells us Aramark and the state couldn’t agree on how the billing for these services worked, and so mutually agreed to terminate the contract.

The state has signed a three-year, $158 million deal with Trinity Services Group, a Florida-based company that already provides services in 44 states.

Trinity Services Group will be taking over for Aramark this September.