Editor’s note: CDCR is committed to providing nutritional meals to those in our care, offering eggs on the standardized menu at all institutions.
Californians love eggs. Each Golden State resident devours 300 per year, requiring 40 million laying hens to meet the demand. Our incarcerated population isn’t missing out on what is often called nature’s perfect food. Eggs and egg products are served to incarcerated residents in CDCR five times each week, according to Keith Robinson, Departmental Food Administrator.
Statewide Standardized Menu used by CDCR
CDCR is responsible for ensuring meals meet nutritional guidelines while promoting better health. To meet dietary guidelines, CDCR uses a standard menu for all institutions and facilities.
California Health Care Facility (CHCF) is the exception since it provides specific meals required for their unique medical mission.
“CDCR also accommodates religious and vegetarian dietary restrictions, as well as other special dietary needs, such as providing higher-calorie meals for (those) serving in fire camps,” according to a 2021-22 food budget document.
Updated healthier menus, standardized across the state, allow incarcerated people to select healthier options.
“The menu for the general population is lower in sodium and fat, is diabetic-friendly, and provides a fresh variety such as:
- More fruit and vegetable servings, including a variety of fresh, seasonal options
- Whole grains
- Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese
- Varied sources of protein such as milk, cheese, dairy, eggs, and meat
- Less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars
- Reduced servings of bread and dessert
“In addition to the updated regular menu, CDCR provides a plant-based/common fare diet to all institutions. All inmates are eligible for this diet by requesting it via the institution Community Resource Manager. The diet consists of vegetables, starches, and fruits, but does not contain meat or meat byproducts,” the report states.
Did you know? California is the seventh largest egg producer in the U.S. In 2018, the state produced 3.9 billion eggs from 40 million hens.
Food service details are covered in the Department Operations Manual, Article 51.
Learn more about CDCR food service careers.