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Pork Off the Menu in All Federal Prisons

It wasn't that popular, Bureau of Prisons says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2015 12:40 AM CDT
Pork Off the Menu in All Federal Prisons
A pork industry spokesman says taking away inmates' bacon is a step too far.   (Shutterstock)

Life in federal prison now means life without bacon—or pork chops, or ham, or any other pork product. Pork was completely removed from the menu for all 206,000 federal prisoners with the beginning of the new fiscal year this month in a move that the Bureau of Prisons says comes down to inmate preferences and cost considerations, the Washington Post reports. The pork industry finds the explanation hard to swallow. "I do find it hard to believe that the majority would say 'No thank you to bacon,'" a National Pork Producers Council spokesman tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, adding that with pork, the federal government is "getting a good product at a very good price."

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman tells the Star-Telegram that the menu change isn't linked to Muslim or Jewish dietary restrictions, which are accommodated by prisons but don't affect the national menu. The change is welcome, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations tells the Post, but he hopes it is "not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system." He says the move will probably cause anti-Islamic groups to come out with the "usual conspiracy theories" about the government giving Muslims special treatment. "This is just the kind of thing that drives them crazy," he says. (Whole Foods has stopped selling products made by inmates.)

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