High security prisons serve Quorn roasts and vegan rolls on Christmas Day

The Christmas Day menu at the maximum security HMP Wakefield is decorated with faces of Santa Claus (Picture: REX/Department of Justice)

Prisoners in Britain’s maximum security prisons will be served Quorn meatless roasts and giant vegan sausage rolls on Christmas Day.

Health-conscious menus catering to different dietary needs have been offered to some of the most notorious inmates held in England.

Offenders at HMP Belmarsh are among those who can choose from festive dishes that include plant-based alternatives to traditional meals.

They are offered choices that include the Quorn Dish, Roast Turkey, Chicken Breast, and Chilli Butter Hoki.

Christmas lunches at Category A prison in south east London come with all the trimmings including roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, carrots, parsnips, cabbage brussels and sauce.

Rolls of vegetable or meat sausage, with a slice of Christmas and a minced pie, are the evening meals.

The weekly menu that inmates can choose from is laid out in a uniform black and white grid with icons indicating dietary requirements and instructions written in capital letters.

On Boxing Day, the options are vegan pastries, slices of ham or beef, fish cakes with smoked haddock or mozzarella, with strawberry mousse for dessert.

Current and past inmates of Thamesmead prison include Soham killer Ian Huntley, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, train robber Ronnie Biggs and Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, the three PC killers Andrew Harper.


A menu at HMP Belmarsh lists Christmas week choices including jerk chicken and vegetable couscous (Picture: MoJ)

At HMP Frankland, another Grade A men’s prison, a festively decorated menu includes vegan ‘cheatin beef stroganoff’, halal diced peppercorn beef casserole, roast turkey and gammon and chipolata with stuffing .

The Christmas Day selection also features a ‘healthy option’ of salmon and gravy, with all choices coming with toppings of roasted potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts and gravy.

Tea choices at County Durham Jail include a giant vegan sausage roll and chicken pasta salad according to one of the menus released by the Department of Justice (MoJ) under the Freedom of ‘information.

One of the most infamous prisoners at the maximum security prison was Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe before his death in November 2020.

Serial killer Levi Bellfield, who is serving two life sentences for the murders of three people, is among the current inmates.

HMP Wakefield Prison Menu 21/12/22

The Christmas Day menu at HMP Wakefield showing the fare inmates can choose from (Picture: Department of Justice)

At HMP Manchester, a grid menu with diet icons also offers inmates the Quorn dish, which includes roast and baby potatoes, seasonal vegetables and gravy. The Grade A and B men’s prison, formerly known as Strangeways, is the only list provided to include prices, with the dish costing £1.67.

A tandoori chicken leg marinated in spices and served with Bombay potatoes and chapatti is available for £1.30.

Christmas tea options include a beetroot and carrot chickpea wrap or a sausage roll, which can be meat or vegetarian.

Scones with jam and butter, cheese and crackers, orange cookies and bananas are on the dessert list.

The prison’s notorious inmate roll call has included Britain’s most prolific serial killer, Harold Shipman, who was held there before his trial, and Moors murderer, Ian Brady.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Susannah Ireland/REX/Shutterstock (1215014k) General view of inmates at House Wing Four HM Prison Belmarsh Category A high security prison in Woolwich, London, England, Britain - July 2010

Belmarsh prisoners have a healthy range of menu items to choose from during the festive season (Picture: Susannah Ireland/REX/Shutterstock)

HMP Wakefield offers an illustrated Christmas-themed menu decorated with faces of Santa Claus.

Lunch choices at the Category A prison include Cajun Sweet Potato Roulade, Vegan Schnitzel, and Halal Turkey, Brie, and Sweet Potato Pie, all of which come with toppings.

A traditional choice at West Yorkshire Jail is roast turkey, stuffing ball and sausage wrapped in bacon. The dessert is a vegan Christmas pudding and white sauce with a banana, while the tea options consist of food wraps suitable for different dietary needs.

The menu is illustrated with a snowman and carries the message: “Merry Christmas to all from the kitchen staff.

Jail prisoners include murderer Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his own family, black cab rapist John Worboys and Roy Whiting, who murdered Sarah Payne.


Quorn will be one of the most widely served ingredients in high security prisons this Christmas (Picture: file image)

At HMP Full Sutton, a generic grid menu lists Halal Chicken Thighs, Cheddar Haddock Fishcake, and Vegan Wellington among today’s choices.

Hot roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and roast turkey with three pigs in blankets are some of the more traditional options for the main meal.

Category A and B prison desserts in the East Riding of Yorkshire include Christmas puddings and cakes, mince pies and satsumas.

On Boxing Day, inmates can choose from a lunch list that includes vegan Quorn tenderloin with mushroom sauce, ham and pineapple or turkey brie and sweet potato pie.

While festive arrangements have been made in prisons, opportunities for inmates to socialize have been limited over the past two years.

In January, the Howard League for Penal Reform said prisoners in England and Wales had spent long periods locked up in cells during Covid as reduced regimes were implemented in a “broken and overcrowded system”.

In its freedom of information response, the Department of Justice said, “Prison meals at Christmas are paid for within the existing budget and at no additional cost to the taxpayer.”

“Prison regulations require prisoners to be provided with three meals a day that are varied and nutritious and that meet everyone’s religious, cultural and medical needs. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service works closely with catering managers and suppliers to ensure the best value for money in a time of rising food prices.

The daily allowance for an inmate is £2.02 per day.

The Justice Department argues that, in line with new increased financial responsibilities for governors, the amount spent on food, including religious occasions, is a locally made decision.

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