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Warden takes extra steps to ensure pest-free food
Bulloch County inmate's father reported live maggots served in potatoes Monday
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    Bulloch County Correctional Institute Warden Billy Tompkins took extra steps Tuesday to ensure that a repeat of Monday’s pest-infested potatoes being served to inmates would not happen again.
    He plans to consult the Bulloch County Health Department, United States Department of Agriculture and Bulloch County Cooperative Extension Service to make sure the garden produce remains pest-free and safe, said Bulloch County Manager Tom couch.
    Tompkins confirmed Tuesday that some kind of “bug” was indeed found in potatoes served to Bulloch County Jail inmates. One inmate’s father contacted the Statesboro Herald and said his daughter discovered “live maggots” in her food. Tompkins did not say the offending pests were maggots, but described the creatures as “a small white insect with a black head.”
    After the discovery, meals were replaced and the tainted food was destroyed. Tompkins said the remaining potatoes in storage were disposed of as well. The potatoes had been grown in the BCCI garden, which is where much of the food served to correctional institute and jail inmates is obtained
    “The Bulloch County Correctional Institute grows fresh vegetables including potatoes that help keep the cost of incarceration low to Bulloch County taxpayers for inmates housed at the Bulloch County Jail and the CI,” said Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch.
    “Admittedly, the insect infestation was an unintentional oversight as it was not evident at harvesting,” he said. “This is the first such incident that has ever happened to our knowledge. Fortunately, we are not aware of any harm done to anyone as a result of the discovery. The inmates are human beings and we are concerned about this matter and regret the occurrence.”
    Tompkins said Wednesday he was disturbed by the incident and is at a loss to explain how it happened, as he and others supervise inmates working in the kitchen and the work camp kitchen has never received a low inspection grade.
    The BCCI kitchen serves 50,000 meals a month to inmates there and at the Bulloch County Jail, he said.

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