Month: September 2014

The Cook’s Correctional Dishmachine Checklist

Champion 86-PW E-Series Dishwasher with Prewash

Champion 86-PW E-Series Dishwasher

Training is a big part of our culture at Cook’s.  We recently launched our Training the Trainer program where senior sales staff is tasked with training the rest of the team the kitchen equipment used in the correctional kitchen.  Unlike traditional product training though, these sessions are about real world experiences in corrections – not how a product operates or what makes one machine different from another.

Our most recent training session, led by Ron Davenport; Midwest Territory Manager, focused on what questions to ask when your customer needs a dishmachine.  We finished with a great discussion on installations that didn’t go as planned, why it happened and how to avoid them.   Because we have the experience of installing lots of dishmachines each year – we get pretty good at knowing where the pitfalls exist and what questions to ask in order to avoid a difficult installation.

In training, Ron shared the Cook’s Correctional Dishmachine Checklist – this is a list of questions that help us to help you.  While most of our customers start a discussion with the goal of replacing what they have, it can benefit you to talk with your sales rep to be sure that what you have is the best fit for your needs.  Next time you’re considering a dishmachine purchase, take a few minutes and answer these questions.  It will help you to help your sales rep make sure that you get a machine that will be the best fit for your facility.

  1. How many inmates?
  2. What is the tray type?
  3. Job type?
    • New construction
    • Replacement (need manufacturer, model and serial number)
  4. Direction of the operation (soiled to clean)?
    • Left to right
    • Right to left
  5. Height?
    • Standard (chamber height:  18”H)
    • 6” higher than Standard (chamber clearance 24”H)
    • Verify what is the largest ware to be processed (i.e. mixing bowls, stock pots, sheet pans, etc.)
  6. Voltage
    • 208/60/3
    • 240/60/3
    • 480/60/3
    • Other
  7. Tank Heat
    • High temp / low tem
    • Electric
    • Gas (specify natural or LP)
    • Steam Coils (flowing steam pressure____)
    • Steam injectors (requires clean/potable steam)
  8. Booster Heater
    • Included with the machine
    • Purchase separately
    • Keeping existing booster heater
  9. Incoming water temperature? (water needs to be 180 degrees to sanitize)
    • 15K for 40 degree temperature rise
    • 30K for 70 degree temperature rise (recommended)
  10. Do they want a Blower Dryer
    • Electric
  11. Options / Accessories:
    • Stainless steel vent “hoods”
    • Table limit switch
    • Single point electrical connection (saves money on installation)
  12. Tables
    • New Soiled Table
    • New Clean Table
    • Re-use existing tables
  13. Scrapping:
    • Is there a scrapping station
    • Is the disposer part of the soiled table
  14. Security Package
    • Do they need this?
    • What’s included by the manufacturer
  15. Utility Overview
    • Electrical (or gas/steam)
      • Voltage
      • Amps
    • Incoming water temperature?
    • Drains, what are the various sizes
    • Duct work needed?

As you can see, there are quite a few considerations with a dishmachine that come into play.  Each question is designed to help us to ensure that you get the right machine for the job and that installation goes smoothly.   If you found this helpful check back in with our blog; Cooking in Corrections, to see our Dishmachine Installation ‘Work Sheet’ and then our Flight Type Checklist.   And if you are in the market for any piece of equipment for your correctional kitchen, give us a call and let our expertise work for you.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

New hope for damaged steam table pans!

CaterSeal Steam Table Pan Gasket

CaterSeal Steam Table Pan Gasket

If you are tired of damaged steam table pan lids raise your hand!

If you are tired of noisy pans rattling as you transport them through the kitchen Raise your hand!

If you are tired of your portion utensils falling into your pans of food, one more time, Raise your hand! 

We are pleased to introduce you to the new CaterSeal Food Pan Gasket!  New to Cook’s Correctional, the CaterSeal Food Pan gasket is here to help and solve this problem for you.  Just wrap the CaterSeal gasket around your steam table pan and lid and your operation has improved instantly.  No more mess from spillage and easier clean up in your foodservice operation.  You’ll also improve the efficiency of your serving line because the gasket is a barrier to steam escaping from the gaps between pan and well. 

You can now put your hands down, no more rattling, denting, spilling or noisy pans!

Brian Richardson

Brian Richardson

 

Food for thought: Tray Delivery Carts (part 3 of 3)

Cook's Aluminum 40-Tray Delivery Cart

Cook’s Aluminum 40-Tray Delivery Cart

This is the third and final post (in this series) on Tray Delivery Carts and things to know or think about prior to purchasing.  Our first blog post was on the questions we ask our clients before recommending or quoting carts (click here for Part 1).  Our second blog post was on general facility and cart questions that should be answered before making a purchase (click here for Part 2).  This post is going to cover some of the various cart options available to you that you should consider as you review your Tray Delivery Cart options.

1.  Will you be holding or transporting things on the top of the cart?  You can find carts that offer a sheet pan rack for 18″ x 26″ pans.  These can be open, enclosed and even insulated.  You will want to think through how many pans you would want to carry and the spacing.  If you do this, you need to also consider how much space you will need above the cart to fit the rack.

Rather than product on sheet pans or in steam table pans, will you be transporting Beverage Servers?  You’ll want a rail on the top of the cart to keep them in place.  You also want to consider how tall the cart is because someone needs to be able to put the fully loaded beverage servers on top of the cart.  If you have a five gallon beverage server – it will weigh 40 lbs. fully loaded, as a gallon of water weighs 8 lbs.

A rail can keep wash racks in place too, if that’s how you’re transporting tumblers or mugs.  A top rail can be three-sided which allows you easy access to load the top of the cart or it can be four-sided which keeps things in place more easily.

2.  Will you be doing any assembly at point of delivery?  You may want to consider a work shelf option.  These are available in pull out or flip-up styles.  You will need to consider where you would like it located on the cart, the size and the height you want it to be above finished floor.

3.  Are you purchasing heated carts?  If you are, do you want a thermometer on the outside of the cart that tells you the internal temperature of the cart?  This is a really good idea because then you’re not opening the door and letting the heat out in order to make sure it’s at temperature. Consider how many thermometers do you want on the cart and where you want them to be.

A nice option to consider is a cart with a removable heater because it can extend the life of the cart.  By removing the heater before you wash the cart you minimize potential for damage to the heater.  Additionally, with a removable heater – if the heater goes, you can replace it pretty easily.

4.  Have you experienced damage in your facility from carts or have specific failure areas on your current carts?  You may want to review options for special bumpers beyond the standard 1″ vinyl.  You may also consider wear plates, which are extra stainless.  Be sure to specify where you need these to be located.  There are also options for a top bumper which adds additional protection to walls and cart.

5.  Do you want to gang carts together?  A tow hitch can be used to create a string of carts.  Tow hitches can be ball style, pin or ‘C’ Clamp.  If this is a new option, you’ll want to consider who will actually tow – is it the inmate or the staff, and how many carts will be towed at one time.  Keep in mind that there is typically NO warranty beyond towing ONLY two carts at one time.

Finally:

6.  Do you have any special considerations regarding the doors?  There are options like a magnetic latch which helps to keep heat in by closing and sealing the doors.  Do you want your  door pulls to be flush?  This can ensure there are no handles to get in the way in tight spaces.  A special transport latch will keep the door latch covered so that it stays closed. You may need to specify a security latch or locking latch so that you don’t have any concerns about contamination during transport.

Meal Delivery Carts are a large investment for the correctional kitchen and they will impact your meal serving operation significantly.  Any time you spend before hand making sure you get what you need, what you want and what will work is time well spent, and possibly dollars not thrown away.  If you need help with on carts or other equipment, all the Cook’s Correctional sales reps are trained on our products we have lots of experience that we’re ready to share with you.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

Food for thought: Tray Delivery Carts (part 2 of 3)

Cook's 46-7/20"H Non-Heated/Insulated Ironman Tray Hauler

Cook’s Brand Ironman Tray Hauler

Our last post about Tray Delivery Carts talked about some of the different questions we would ask a customer who was looking to replace or buy new Meal Delivery Carts.  We focused on questions about their facility and some things about how they would use them.  The idea is to get the right cart for the application.  In this post, I’m focusing on questions you would ask once you have the type of cart and necessary functionality needs identified.  These are general facility questions and cart questions that you need to know before you buy:

1.  What is the width of the most narrow door? Do yourself a favor and test using a piece of cardboard that is the size of the cart to be sure your cart will fit through the door or in the elevator/sally port. Ask for a spec sheet so you can see the exact dimensions including the handle and possibly a bumper.  We discussed tray delivery carts in a sales meeting the other day – and one story thrown out there was about a customer who had to have the maintenance guy cut the bumper off of all the carts so that they could be used.  That’s right – the ‘protective’ bumper that probably made the cart a little more expensive.

2. What is the turning radius within the facility?  Take that same piece of cardboard and walk it through the path the carts are going to take.  Now think about the caster set up on the cart that you want?  You don’t want to get in a situation where you need a cart that has four swivel casters and you order one that has two swivel in the front and two fixed in the back.  Suddenly you have trustees pushing the back end of the carts so that they can fit them through the turn, destroying the casters, putting pressure on the handles, and so on.  We all now how gentle the trustees are with your equipment.

3.  What type of surface will the cart be moved over?  Is it going to stay in the facility or will you be using it to transport food offsite, will it go over rough pavement, loose gravel or spline joints outside, or is it only to be used indoors?  This is all about getting the right material and size caster to meet your needs and one you aren’t constantly replacing — all purpose casters, TRP rubber casters, polyurethane casters, rubber expansion stem casters, and more.

4.  What type of electrical power does the cart require — and do you have it?  Look too see if the cart and your facility are compatible before you order!  You may have or need 120 or 208 phase.  The cart may have a NEMA plug – so you need a NEMA receptacle in your facility.  You also want to be sure that the electrical is available where you need it and that there is enough of it.  How many carts will you need to plug in to preheat them — it’s better to think through how you will be pre-heating 15 carts with only 10 outlets available before you buy.  You also want to check out the production and staging area and the cell block if you will be plugging them in in both locations.

As the expression goes, the devil is in the details.  Carts are such a big investment and they typically have a longer lead time because they are made to order so you want to be sure to spend some time upfront making sure that you choose a cart that will work within your facility.

The next blog post will be about cart options to you should be aware of before you make a buying decision.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou