Kitchen conditions, medical care lead discussion at jail oversight board meeting

WESA, 02/03/23: “Allegheny County Jail officials plan to make some changes to the facility’s kitchen in response to long-standing concerns from incarcerated people and members of the public about poor food quality and unsanitary conditions. But some members of the county’s jail oversight board are still concerned that some incarcerated people’s constitutional rights are being violated elsewhere in the jail.

At a meeting on Thursday, deputy warden Blythe Toma told the board that jail officials are ‘evaluating the kitchen operations’ in response and has worked with the county health department to create a corrective action plan. She said the jail plans to create and hire for two new positions ‘in the near future’: a food service manager and a food service supervisor. In the meantime, a captain and a sergeant have been assigned to the kitchen to oversee cleaning, pest mitigation and general operations.

They also worked with the health department to create a new extermination plan. In past oversight board meetings, public commenters have shared stories about rodent sightings in food preparation areas.

Fort Pitt Exterminators treats the kitchen area twice a week, but a recent inspection by the Allegheny County Health Department found both dead and live mice and roaches and rodent droppings throughout the facility, as well as potentially dangerous sanitation practices.

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