Paul Muschick and Christopher Schnaars of the Tribune Business News report that Northampton County Prison has, according to this story, stored food in a bathroom, did not have hot water or soap for kitchen workers to wash their hands and used refrigerators not cold enough to safely store food.
The story says that the conditions are revealed in the Easton Health Bureau’s inspection records of 2004 and 2005, which were released last week to The Morning Call following a legal challenge by the newspaper to the city’s refusal to make the records public.
City inspector Ed Ferraro, interviewed about the city’s inspection of prison conditions, was cited as describing the violations as so severe that, had they been found in a private business, he would have asked the owner to close voluntarily until problems were corrected.
Prison officials were cited as saying they followed Ferraro’s reports line by line and have since corrected the problems, which Ferraro confirms. Prison officials said problems were never severe enough to shut down the kitchen.
The story adds that many of Easton’s 2004 inspection records were destroyed by floods last year and this year, but of all available 2004 and 2005 reports, the prison logged more violations than any other food establishment.
Ferraro believes the Easton prison’s problem will return because the prison’s kitchen is outdated. A complete prison kitchen remodeling plan has been called off because of cost.