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Old 30-03-24, 08:55   #1
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Movies Inmates & Staff Suffer Food Poisoning From Curry at UK Prison

Fifteen Inmates and Staff Suffer Food Poisoning From Curry at Lewes Prison UK

‘I’m looking forward to the day I can actually hear some good news about our prison service.’ - Former prison governor Vanessa Frake reacts to a mass food poisoning incident taking place at Lewes Prison, prompting a huge emergency response.

BBC 30 MAR 2024

A prison housing 700 offenders was at the centre of a major emergency on Thursday when 15 prisoners and staff were taken ill after eating curry.

The suspected food poisoning incident saw at least eight police, ambulance and fire service teams sent to HMP Lewes near Brighton, with three prisoners and three civilian staff treated in hospital.

A decontamination tent was set up at the jail while Eastbourne District General Hospital declared a major incident and closed its site as it prepared to treat the victims who had eaten the curry after an Easter Maundy service in the prison chapel.

A prison source said inmates and staff became ill very shortly after eating the curry. Victims began vomiting and, in the time it took for staff to be called, some were slurring their words, giddy and in distress.

A source said there was initial concern among paramedics that the prisoners had been poisoned with fentanyl or a synthetic opioid. The prison kitchen was locked down.

However, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) sources discounted drugs as the cause. Police are understood to be working on the theory that it was an accidental food poisoning but could not rule out other possibilities until tests on the food had been completed.

The MoJ said the kitchen had reopened within hours after being deemed “safe”. It said the jail had not gone into lockdown and no one was in a life-threatening condition. Eastbourne Hospital also stood down its major incident status.

Former prisoners include the Krays and Mick Jagger

HMP Lewes is a men’s prison that holds about 700 inmates in a mix of one and two-man cells. It is a category B prison, which is the second most secure of the four British prison categories, and holds sentenced and on-remand prisoners who are taken directly from courts in the local area.

Reggie Kray and Sir Mick Jagger both spent time inside HMP Lewes. Kray, the twin brother of Ronnie, was imprisoned in the Victorian jail after being sentenced to life for murder in 1969. Jagger was remanded to the prison in June 1967 before sentencing for the possession of amphetamine pills.

Khalid Masood, the terrorist responsible for the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack, served two prison terms in HMP Lewes in the 2000s, one for grievous bodily harm and a second for possession of an offensive weapon.
‘Suspected food poisoning’

South East Coast Ambulance Service, East Sussex Fire Service and Sussex Police confirmed they had attended what was described as a “medical incident” at the East Sussex jail at about 12:30pm.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: “We are working with the emergency services to deal with a suspected food poisoning incident at HMP Lewes.”

A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Earlier today, Eastbourne District General Hospital was stood up to potentially receive casualties following an incident at HMP Lewes.

“We have now been stood down. Care at the hospital has not been affected, and continues to operate as usual.”

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