Month: March 2014

New 20 Gauge Steam Table Pans from Vollrath are here!

Have you been looking for  a heavier duty steam table pan and lid?  Then look no further than your 2014 Cook’s Correctional Buyers Guide!  In this year’s catalog, the new Vollrath 20 Gauge Steam Table Pan and lists made their debut on page 3 of the New Product Section.

Vollrath Super Pan 20 Gauge Steam Table Pans and Lids

Vollrath Super Pan 20 Gauge Steam Table Pans and Lids

Vollrath has introduced a 20 gauge Steam Table Pan under the Super Pan product family. This heavy-duty product is 300 series stainless steel and is the perfect choice for the correctional kitchen. Currently available in 3 sizes and 3 depth levels of 2.5”, 4” and 6”, we have a 20 gauge pan for every correctional application. What is even more exciting about these pans is the 20 gauge Solid Lids that are part of the line. A major security risk in the correctional kitchen for many years has been the steam table pan lid. The 22 gauge lids have historically been a risk because the handle

Brian Richardson

Director of Merchandising, Cook’s

could easily be snapped off and turned into a shank. Now with these innovatively designed ‘handle less’ 20 gauge transport lids, you have a very durable secure heavy-duty steam table pan and lid that will see extended life in your correctional kitchen.

Custom Colors are Getting People’s Attention!

Custom Color products from Cook's

Custom color products from Cook’s

You can always count on Cook’s for new innovative ideas to the Correctional Market. One of our latest initiatives is our new custom color program for trays, tumblers, and flatware.  While custom colors programs exist from other vendors, we launched our custom color program on Cook’s Brand products to allow for very low minimum order quantities. Cook’s understands that a facility may have the need for more than the standard 2 or 3 color choices. Having a variety of colors available for your meal serving needs allows you to offer different color choices for Segregation units, Special Diet, or just a different color for a specific housing unit. Whatever the reason, Cook’s has provided you with the flexibility in your operation to use a variety of colors for all your dinnerware needs.

We have had over 20 of our customers purchase our custom color meal serving products since we began this product offering in 2013. Some of our customers include the Rivers Correctional Institute in Winton, NC, Dallas County Correctional Facility, and a new color co-polymer tray concept for the Cook County Jail in Sioux Falls, North Dakota.

Claudia Santangelo, Product Merchant

Claudia Santangelo


Custom colors are available in all Insulated, Sentry Series and Co-polymer trays and lids, co-polymer and polycarbonate tumblers, flatware, and Flex trays. There is no minimum order requirement for special color orders on Flex products and a 10 case minimum order

How social are you?

Connection with our Customers

Connection with our Customers

Social media isn’t a trend anymore and it’s hardly new, but is it for everyone? As the marketing lead at Cook’s, it’s been my responsibility to implement social media and to find a way to leverage it’s ‘power’ within our customer group – that’s you. And to be honest, it’s been a bit of a struggle. But with a little thought, that makes sense. We traditionally have our strongest relationships with the Foodservice Director or Manager. While a portion of your work has you on a computer – the majority of the ‘work’ in your role is not computer based. That’s quite a difference from someone like me who’s on the computer from the moment I begin work until I stop work – and with the advent of the smart phone, really long before and after the actual workday, which is probably a new reality that we both share!

The key to making our social media outlets work in corrections is to find a way to add value for our customers – again, that’s you. That’s why this blog was started and why we have all our managers contributing.  We’re also going to be featuring guest posts from our territory managers in the next few months – posts that will bring stories of the things they see at their customers (you again!) that we think you will relate to and may gain some ideas you can put to use on the job.  These blog posts are pushed out through all our social media outlets. Did you know that we’re on:
Twitter? follow us!  (

Facebook?  like us at

Pinterest?  I don think there’s any other page dedicated to jail/prison safe kitchen equipment! you can see it here:

Along with the blog posts, we include postings on relevant industry news, product introductions, vendor promotions and our own special promotions.  My goal is to get our customers to talk to us and ideally to each other via these social channels!  It’s in the talking to each other that we can learn from you and that you can find something that’s useful or at least interesting.  I’d love to see comments and feedback from our customers – on any of these sites.  Additionally, we’re going to be creating a LinkedIn page for Cook’s Correctional in the near future.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

Our intent is to facilitate community among our customer base – all 2,500 jails and prisons that we work with across the U.S. After all, you’re all doing a ‘tough’ job and nobody knows that better than you (all of you!).  Getting you to share your stories and the things you do to get the job done is a great way for all of us to make our jobs easier.

I hope that we can connect!


<a href=”” id=”Ot964″>Dreamhost promo code</a>

You’re not happy with your item…what now?

Let’s talk about Cook’s Return Policy.

The first step in avoiding a return is for you to be confident in the purchase you are making either over the phone or when you order online at You may have noticed that when you call in to order an item like insulated trays or smallwares  that you’ve gotten from us in the past, we will reference your purchasing history. We do this for you as a safeguard to verify that the product you’re ordering is the product you want. But that can only apply to items that you order regularly from Cook’s.

Janet St. Clair, Customer Service Manager Cook's

Janet St. Clair

It is our goal to make sure you are getting the correct items with each order, so you can avoid any return fees as well as the lost time involved in a product return. Some items are subject to a 15% to 50% restocking charge and return shipping charges. If you do have a problem with a product we will do our best to minimize the hassles of a return, but by following the simple instructions below with all your purchases – you can also help the process go smoothly when a return is needed:

  • Returned items must be unused, undamaged, returned intact with original materials. Specially ordered or custom items cannot be returned.
  • Please fully inspect and count all the cartons in a shipment “before” you sign for them. If you have shortages, damages, or problems, you should note this on the delivery receipt.
  • Upon receipt and inspection of returned product(s), your credit card will be credited for the amount paid for the item(s) minus the restocking fee and return shipping charges.
  • For refused shipments you will be responsible for full freight charges and applicable fees going both ways if they are refused for any reason other than the shipment was damaged in transit or if the shipping error was made by Cook’s Correctional Kitchen Equipment and Supplies.

Finally, if you have any questions or aren’t sure how to proceed, give us a call at 1-800-956-5571.  The customer service department is here to help you with orders and returns.

Common Plastics used in Correctional Foodservice

Cook's Plastic 6-Compartment Tray

Cook’s Brand Plastic Tray

Plastics are used in a wide variety of products that are in your kitchen in almost every category.  In meal serving products you’ll find plastic insulated trays, cafeteria trays, tumblers and more.  In your storage and transport items there are plastic food storage containers, ingredient bins, beverage servers and more.  You’ll even find plastic in your janitorial products like trash cans.  But just as different as all these foodservice equipment and supplies items are from one another, so is the plastics used to make them.  Here’s a quick guide to the different plastics used in corrections:

  • Co-polymer– Co-polymer plastic is typically a blend of polypropylene and polyethylene. There are many different blends that have unique characteristics. Co-polymer has a reputation for being fairly flexible, super durable and inexpensive.
  • Polycarbonate– Polycarbonate is one of the strongest plastics available. If molded without any color, it is extremely clear and typically used for tumblers. Polycarbonate tends to be expensive material and has been replaced by co-polymer in corrections.
  • TPE– Thermoplastic elastomer is a very soft plastic that can be used like co-polymer or polycarbonate. TPE feels a little like rubber and is extremely bendable and flexible creating a safer work environment in corrections.
  • Silicone– While silicone is not plastic, many products in corrections are made from silicone. The most expensive of all the raw material, silicone offers some unique characteristics that many plastics don’t. It has a very wide temperature rating, NSF approved and, of course, is super flexible.

    Jeff Breeden, CEO Cook's

    Jeff Breeden

If you have a question about which material is best for the application specific to your jail or prison kitchen and your available options, you can contact your sales representative or our customer service team at 1-800-956-5571 and we can help you make the best choice.

FREE SHIPPING – you love it!

Free DeliveryWe have many products where those items come with Free Shipping – but what exactly does this mean?  Free Shipping means free standard shipping. Not free overnight shipping or even free two-day shipping.  Those are premium shipping options that we aren’t able to include for free.

You will most likely see Free Shipping on kitchen equipment pieces or on transport carts.  These are products that are shipping to you directly from the manufacturer, and they have agreements with large shipping companies to include standard shipping.  For instance, if you go to, you’ll see that you can get a Vulcan V6B36S NG 6-Burner Heavy Duty Gas Range with free shipping.  You also need to keep in mind that if you order the range and a stock pot to go on it – the free shipping is for the range only, because the stock pot is coming from our warehouse.

Janet St. Clair, Customer Service Manager Cook's

Janet St. Clair

Additionally, Free Shipping means only that the shipping company brings the item to your facility and drops it off for you. Unfortunately, it does not go past that, but if you want the company to do more than that you can specify, at the time of the order, for an additional charge.

Some additional shipping services available include the following:

  • Inside delivery – if you need the item to be brought inside the location instead of just being dropped off at the front or at a loading dock.
  • Lift Gate – if the item is too heavy to lift off a truck, you can request the truck to have a lift gate. This will take the item from the truck level and deliver it to the ground level. If there is a dock or forklift at the facility there is no need for the freight truck to come equipped with a lift gate.
  • Residential Delivery – if the item is being delivered to a residence there is an additional fee.

If you ever have a question about your Free Shipping and what that really includes, you can always ask someone in customer service at Cook’s and we’ll be sure to clarify what your Free Shipping includes!

You say “just give me a price!” and I say, “not so fast…” here’s why:

I know how you feel…you call someone to get a price on an item and pray for a seconds-quick response. I mean, who really wants to spend more time on the phone with a salesperson? You have things to do, places to be, jobs to finish…so you may think a quick response from a vendor will get you where you need to go…but does it?

Tim Saner, Sales Manager Cook's

Tim Saner

For years, I have been making calls and fielding calls from correctional kitchen professionals; folks like you. During that time, I have been the one that slowed you down and asked you those annoying questions that delay the answer you seek…while, “just give me a price,” rings through your head! Then I ask, “you want to purchase a new freezer…why?” Then you think, “That’s it, this guy is in outer space!” “Because mine doesn’t work!” you exclaim.

This is where I ask for your patience…because the more I know about your correctional kitchen equipment, the easier it will be to point you in the right direction. Specification of the right item is dependent on diagnosis of a problem. Diagnosis involves lots of questions… and answers. When I

image courtesy of Commercial Kitchen Doctor LLC

image courtesy of Commercial Kitchen Doctor LLC

find out that your freezer is broke, and it doesn’t maintain temp, I need to know how it got that way. Does it have top mount refrigeration? Is there clearance above it and the ceiling for proper ventilation? Where is the unit being placed? What products are stored in it? What foodservice equipment brand is it? Would pan slides instead of shelves increase its utility? Is it next to a heat source – would a heat shield on either side make sense? Being in a correctional kitchen Is the unit or its contents ever tampered with? What is your budget for this item? Who is using it?…etc.

Don’t worry, the questions are limited. While they may seem annoying at the time – I promise that you, as well as I, will learn more about what you have in your correctional kitchen and what you need as we talk. You want to buy once and buy right. I want to get you to that point. Oh, and one more question…if you call a different supplier and they don’t ask you any questions, how did they determine what was right for you?

Sick of fighting Fruit Flies in the Kitchen?

Fruit Fly Defender

Fruit Fly Defender

Fruit Flies are a problem for every Correctional Kitchen. While Fruit Flies are primarily nuisance pests, they also have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms so it’s important to get rid of them – but it’s not easy! Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. But they also will breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags. All that is needed for development is a moist film of fermenting material. Infestations can originate from over-ripened fruits or vegetables that were previously infested and brought into your facility. The adults can also fly in from outside through inadequately screened windows and doors.

Whenever we’ve talked with our correctional customers, they most often find them in floor drains, kitchen sinks and in hard to reach areas like “behind trash cans”. But we’ve got a solution for you!

The Fruit Fly Fighter product line from Defender will eliminate your fruit fly population, even in all those hard to reach places that they like so much! It is available an easy to use Fruit Fly Fighter Starter Kit or in the concentrated liquid only. Once you have any existing fruit fly populations eradicated, you can use the Sink Defender to keep your drains fresh and to prevent fruit flies from coming back.  Sink Defender comes in tablets which go in a plastic holder that you insert into your floor drain and sink, or in an easy-to-use spray bottle, that you can spray onto all non-food contact locations. These commercial chemicals are effective, but also environmentally friendly.  Both the Fruit Fly Fighter and the Sink Defender are made from proprietary, bacteria based, eco-friendly product.

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

Everyone knows how annoying fruit flies can be. They cause kitchens to become very unsanitary. What’s great about the Fruit Fly Fighter is, that it is Eco Friendly for the environment, made from a bacteria based concentrate that helps wage war on dirt, grime and grease, which attract our fruit fly friends into the commercial kitchen.

Cook’s Knife Leash Kit

What happens when a knife or other sharp kitchen tool goes missing in your kitchen? If you’re like most of our customers, its lock down time until it gets found. The Knife Leash Kit was one of our first Cook’s Brand product introductions. It’s a simple, yet ingenious, tool to improve safety in your kitchen – and to reduce the time you spend searching for misplaced professional kitchen knives. Take a look at our video to see just how the knife leash kit works.