12/21/2015 12:49 EST | Updated 12/21/2015 12:59 EST

Regina Inmates Launch Hunger Strike Over Food Quality

"I wouldn't serve this to my dog."

a single apple behind bars
Rich Lapenna via Getty Images
a single apple behind bars

REGINA — More than 50 inmates at the Regina Correctional Centre have launched a hunger strike over the quality of the food they're being served.

The strike began Saturday morning after uncooked eggs were reportedly given to the prisoners.

Concerns about the food have been raised by inmates over the past month.

A petition with a list of demands was submitted to prison management on Nov. 18.

November was also the same month a private company, Compass Group, began serving food at all provincial jails.

"I just think that this is inhumane what they're serving us."

Drew Wilby, a Ministry of Justice spokesman, says officials are looking into the matter.

"I just think that this is inhumane what they're serving us. I wouldn't serve this to my dog and what they're doing is wrong and enough is enough,'' said Forrest Pelletier, an inmate serving time for break and enter and possession of a weapon.

"The offenders have obviously raised their concerns and we're addressing those and looking at that. Both the team in Regina and the ministry team here,'' said Wilby.

The ministry has confirmed this is not the first time it's spoken to Compass Group about concerns over food quality. Another call between the parties was scheduled for Monday.

Attempts to contact Compass Group received no response.

"I wouldn't serve this to my dog."

The Saskatchewan government said earlier this year that it would save $12 million through a five-year contract with the company.

"This will ensure consistency on nutritional values, on actual delivery of food throughout our correctional facilities. We currently don't have that,'' Corrections Minister Christine Tell told reporters in August.

The Opposition NDP has issued a statement with a warning about the potential impact on public safety.

"The Saskatchewan Party is risking public safety in order to pursue privatization. Saskatchewan families also don't want to see a flood of inmates needing medical care as a result of spoiled or raw food,'' said Warren McCall, the party's Central Services critic.

(Global Regina)

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