HC Deb 15 November 1977 vol 939 cc166-7W
Mr. Charles Irving

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the weekly per capita cost of a prisoner's food; whether prison caterers draw fixed weekly quantities of food or cash allowances to buy food per prisoner; if fixed weekly quantities are drawn, what are the current quantities or cash allowances per prisoner in respect of bacon, dripping, milk, bread and flour, margarine, potatoes, chicken, fresh meat, other vegetables, eggs, fresh fruit and salads; whether prison caterers are allowed any supplementary allowance to supplement the menu of prisoners; and, if so, how much the allowance is.

Mr. John

The estimated average weekly cost of food per prisoner in penal establishments in England and Wales is £3.66. This reflects the competitive prices available under centrally arranged contracts and the economic production within the prison system of certain items such as vegetables. With the exception of fresh meat, other than pork, for which there is a weekly cash allowance of 42p a head, the dietary is based upon fixed weekly quantities. In addition a weekly cash allowance, at present 18p a head, is provided for the local purchase of dietary extras. A proportion of this must be spent on fresh fruit. Underdrawings of flour and oats may be valued in cash terms and be added to the cash allowance.

For adult male prisoners in local and remand prisons the weekly allowance for the particular items to which the hon. Member refers are as follows:

  • Bacon (including bone)—280g (10 ozs).
  • Dripping—250g (9 ozs).
  • Milk—2000m1 (3½ pts.)
  • Flour (including bread)—2500g (5½ lbs).
  • Margarine—250g (9 ozs).
  • Potatoes—3150g (7 lbs).
  • Chicken—230g (8 ozs).
  • Pork—80g (3 ozs).
  • Baked Beans—110g (4 ozs).
  • Carrots—280g (10 ozs).
  • Other root vegetables—110g (4 ozs).
  • Greens—680g (1½ lbs).
  • Onions—80g (3 ozs).
  • Marrowfat peas—100g (3½ ozs).
  • Split peas—40g (1½ ozs).
  • Eggs—2.
During the growing season a number of salad items are provided from prison farms. At other times such items are purchased locally from the cash allowance.