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Inmates can forget bacon for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch or pork chops for dinner now that the federal government have nixed all pork products from the menu
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- The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which is responsible for more than 200k inmates, banned pork products started in October
- A spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons says the decision was made following a survey which showed a decline in pork's popularity
Inmates can forget bacon for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch or pork chops for dinner now that the federal government have nixed all pork products from the menu at federal prisons nationwide.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons instituted the new ban on pork products at the beginning of October - the start of the fiscal year - and said the move was in response to a survey of prisoners' food preferences which found that pork was no longer popular.
'Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?' Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau, told The Washington Post. 'Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years.'
The Federal Bureau of Prisons have taken all pork products off the menu at prisons nationwide, citing a survey which showed a decline in inmates' interest for pork
But the explanation that the over 200,000 inmates in the federal system are not interested in pork has the pork industry suspicious.
'We find it hard to believe that a survey would have found a majority of any population saying, "No thanks, I don’t want any bacon,"' Dave Warner, spokesperson for The National Pork Producers Council, said in a statement. 'For people who are incarcerated, we understand that they’re denied certain rights and freedoms but we don’t think bacon should be one of them.'
The NPPC vowed to 'find out how this came about' and said they 'wouldn't rule out' legal action.
This isn't the first time that pork has been eliminated from prison menus.
The prison system in Tarrant County, Texas hasn't serving pork to prisons for the past 15 years, in order to better serve Muslim and Jewish prisoners whose diet strictly forbids pork and any other foods coming into contact with pork.
However, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross says the decision to take pork off the menu has nothing to do with religious meals, which are separate from the national menu.
'People are more health conscious these days,' Ross told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 'Some people choose to be vegetarian or vegan. That’s their preference.'
Ross says the survey of inmates food preferences have for years showed a decline in pork's popularity, which has corresponded with a rise in pork prices that didn't justify keeping it on the menu.
While pork will no longer be served in the kitchens at federal prisons, inmates can get their pork fix through the commissaries where they can buy products like pork rinds and pre-cooked bacon.