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Lab Test Confirms Rat Poison in Rikers Island Meatloaf


04.28.15 Liam Mathews

The New York Daily News reports that the meatloaf that made inmates at Rikers sick last month was confirmed to have been tainted with Brodifacoum, a rat poison, according to results from a laboratory study commissioned by the plaintiffs.

“There’s no justification for rat poison to be in an inmate’s food whatsoever,” the inmates’ lawyer, Joanne Squillace, told the Daily News. Seems like an obvious statement, but it needs to be said, since there was in fact rat poison in inmates’ food. Squillace filed a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections last month.

The inmates said they were stricken with vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding after eating meatloaf and cabbage peppered with small blue and green pellets on March 3. A DOC official told Capital New York at the time that there was “no indication that these inmates suffered from food-borne illnesses.”

Ramsey Orta, the man who videotaped Eric Garner’s murder, was on a hunger strike while incarcerated at Rikers Island earlier this month due to his fear that his food was being poisoned.

The DOC is still awaiting results from its own test. A city source anonymously told the Daily News that “it is premature to draw any conclusions about test results from samples provided by the plaintiff inmates that the city has not analyzed and verified.”

(Photo: Joseph)