Food tray protest over at Regina jail
Prisoners refused meals Thursday in protest over food quality
Following a day when more than 100 prisoners refused to accept their food trays, things are back to normal at the Regina Correctional Centre.
Provincial officials confirmed Friday that inmates are once again accepting their meal trays.
Many were refusing them Thursday in a protest over food quality.
The dispute had a lot of people talking, including a less-than-sympathetic Premier Brad Wall, who said if people don't like prison food, they shouldn't go to prison.
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Meal seems to take 'some unfortunate shortcuts' says nutritionist
Processed meat and potatoes are acceptable some of the time, but shouldn't be used on a regular basis, according to Nicole Pulvermacher, owner of Eatwell Nutrition Consulting in Regina.
"It appears that some effort was made, but also some unfortunate shortcuts," Pulvermacher said, after looking at the Thursday lunch of bread, peanut butter and jam, processed meat, potato salad and coleslaw.
I think it would be challenging to get enough vegetables and low salt content in the rest of the day.- Nicole Pulvermache
She added that although she doesn't know how often this meal is served, relying on potatoes for a vegetable reduces the nutrition quality of the meal, and that the processed meat is better limited.
"It could fit into a balanced day," she said. "I think it would be challenging to get enough vegetables and low salt content in the rest of the day."
Pulvermacher did a food review with the Regina Correctional Centre in the summer of 2015 before Compass took over the cooking. One of the biggest challenges, Pulvermacher said, is making sure inmates get all their daily nutrition from meals provided, since they can't be expected to get food from elsewhere.
As for whether the health of inmates would be affected by refusing their food trays, Pulvermacher says it depends on whether they are still eating other food, and for how long they don't eat. Twenty-four hours is a safe time for most people.
"As long as the person's healthy, not eating for a day is maybe a bit uncomfortable, but shouldn't be dangerous in any way," she said. "I know there's a relatively large population of people with diabetes at the correctional centre, and if there wasn't any adjustment of medication, then fasting for a day for someone with diabetes could be quite dangerous."