What appears to be an outbreak of E. coli at the Saginaw Correctional Facility has left 89 inmates and seven prison guards sickened. Most fell ill between Auguse 27 and 30.
No prisoner or guard has experienced an onset of illness since the Labor Day Weekend, causing officials to think the worst is over. Four inmates were hospitalized, but apparently none required critical care.
Saginaw houses 1,488 prisoners with the corrections staff totaling 342.
This is the second foodborne outbreak at a state prison this summer. Last month, the Tucker Unit of the Arkansas prison system experienced a widespread Salmonella outbreak from contaminated chicken.
The E. coli outbreak forced the Saginaw prison to put quarantine procedures into effect for the holiday weekend that restricted visitation, transfers and group activities.
Michigan’s Department of Community Health and Department of Agriculture along with the Saginaw County Health Department are cooperating to investigate the prison outbreak. It’s likely a water- or foodborne outbreak, so health officials are looking at food and water sources and practices at the prison.
The Saginaw prison is located on 43 acres in Saginaw County, MI with 11 separate buildings including one dedicated to food service. Routine medical care is provided onsite with major emergencies going to a local hospital.
A double, 12-foot fence topped with razor-ribbon wire and gun towers encloses perimeter of the Saginaw prison.