Cook’s Correctional Tray Assembly Line
Pre-portioning meals on insulated trays for delivery to pods or units is efficient and economical. Yet it’s amazing how many tray assembly operations end up inefficient because of the order of foods on the line. Hot foods should go on trays last, not first. Start with room temperature foods like bread and rolls, and next add cold foods. Last, add the hot portions.
Ideally, cold food should be kept below 40 degrees F and hot food above 165 degrees F. Minimize the distance a worker has to move food from well to tray. Be sure to keep the conveyor line moving fast enough to keep workers busy with no time for mischief.
Here are some easy to follow guidelines for your conveyor line set-up:
- Allow 30” per worker for adequate shoulder space.
- Using 16” wide hot and cold steam tables keeps workers close to the conveyor
- Pitch the conveyor line ¼” per 1’0” from the head of the line to the end.
- Cover hot food after portioning as quickly as possible to keep heat in or store trays in a heated cabinet.
- Since cold trays chill hot food fast, keep trays in a warm tray washing or other area.
- Always strap together for transport to retain temperature.
When planning your line, use this guide to steam table pan portion capacities:
- 2 ½” D Full Size Pan: 9 Quarts = (72) 4 oz. portions
- 2 ½” D Half Size Pan: 4 Quarts = (32) 4 oz. portions
- 4” D Full Size Pan: 15 Quarts = (120) 4 oz. portions
- 4” D Half Size Pan: 7 Quarts = (56) 4 oz. portions
- 6” D Full Size Pan: 22 Quarts = (176) 4 oz. portions
- 6” D Half Size Pan: 10 Quarts = (80) 4 oz. portions
If you’re looking for additional capacity guides you can go to the resource section at the back of the Correctional Buyers Guide (click here to view the catalog online). You can also contact your Cook’s Correctional Sales Representative for any help you may need with
Flight Type Dishmachine
By far, the most common dishmachines that we quote and sell into correctional facilities are Flight Type machines. These machines typically are going into larger facilities, but they also make sense in corrections because of the continuous use and they work well for washing insulated trays. Our last two posts have been dishmachines focusing on what questions we ask to assess our customers needs and then more about the specifics of the machine before installation. This post addresses our Flight Type Checklist; to help us understand the details specific to purchasing and installing a flight type machine:
1. Job Type: New Construction or Replacement
2. Direction of Operation: Right to Left or Left to Right
3. Overall length of Dishwasher:
- Load: 5′, 7′ or Other (consult with Factory)
- Center: 4′ or 8′
- Unload: 5′, 7′, 9′, 11′, or Other (consult with Factory)
- Height: Standard or 6″ higher than Standard
- Conveyor: BB with Duraflex Fingers, Special for Insulated Trays or Other (consult with Factory)
- Doors: Hinged; verify clearance in front of machine (standard), Other – consult with Factory (fully height or split door) and verify ceiling height
- Drain: Load End or Unload End
- Voltage: 208/60/3, 240/60/3, or 480/60/3
4. Flowing Steam Pressure: 8 – 20 lbs psi, 21 – 50 lbs psi, below 8 lbs psi (consult with factory)
5. Tank Heat: Electric, Steam Coils, Steam Injectors
6. Booster Heater
- No Booster
- 24kw requires 140 degree incoming water
- 39kw requires 110 degree incoming water
7. Blower Dryer:
- 8 – 20 lbs psi
- 21 – 50 lbs psi
Consult the factory on the following:
- Circuit Breakers
- Prison Package
- Non-foodservice Application
The purchase of a Flight Type dishmachine, whether it is a replacement of an existing machine or a new installation, is one of the more complex kitchen equipment decisions. Your layout plays a critical role as does the amount of space you have available for loading and unloading, scraping, and then tray drying. We can assist you in as you review all that’s involved in this type of decision or with any other correctional kitchen equipment decision. We hope that you find this Flight Type Dishmachine checklist helpful. If you’re looking to do any work in your kitchen this year or simply making budget plans for next year, be sure to give us a call. We can assist with quotes and cut sheets as well as recommendations for various manufacturers and equipment options. While we don’t show any flight type machines on Cook’s Correctional, we have lots of experience working with Hobart, Insinger and more.
Hobart Door-type Dishwasher AM15VL
In follow-up to our last post, I want to introduce to you our Dishmachine Installation Checklist. This checklist is designed to help our sales representatives ask the questions needed to ensure our customers have a smooth, trouble-free Dishmachine Installation. At Cook’s Correctional, we are continually working to improve the expertise of all our staff, and sales and customer service in particular since they are directly in communication with you, our customer. While much simpler than the Dishmachine Checklist from our last post, the Installation Checklist is no less important. This checklist is designed to understand the scope of work involved in the installation, to ask questions that will help uncover potential problems in the installation before they occur and to identify the resources that you’ll want to have on hand as the installation takes place. If you are considering a purchase of a new dishmachine or in need of replacing your old machine, we suggest that you review the Dishmachine Checklist from our previous post and the checklist below. Thinking through the process before you buy will help you to get the best product to meet your needs and to have a worry-free installation when the time comes:
Resources to have contact information for in case of questions/problems:
- Factory Representative:
- Local Rep Group:
- Cook’s Correctional Contact:
Scope of Work:
- Will we remove the old equipment?
- Are we delivering to the site or to the installers warehouse?
- Does the machine need to be uncrated by the installers or will maintenance do it?
- Does it need to be moved to its final destination?
- Does it need to be set in place?
- Does it need to be bolted down?
- Verify the location of the utilities; water, gas, electric, steam?
- Who will make the final connections?
- Does the end-user have any additional information about the site/job?
Other Questions to Ask:
- Is this a new placement or a 1 for 1 replacement?
- Are the utilities within 3 feet of the machine? if not they will need to be relocated for the installation.
- What are the delivery requirements for this project?
- Will the kitchen still be serving during this transition? what accommodations need to be made? (for instance – disposable trays for a day)
- Will there be a menu change for a day?
- What clearance (security) requirements are needed for on site installation and delivery crews?
- Is there adequate room to move the equipment? as well as remove old equipment?
- What time can the work be done?
- Will on staff maintenance be involved in the project?
- What is the expected timeline?
- Any other client expectations that need to be identified up front?
Our goal at Cook’s Correctional with your dishmachine installation, as well as any installation of Kitchen Equipment, is to be an expert for you and to guide you through the process. We want to remove the unexpected and to make the process as painless as possible. Replacing equipment can be very difficult for corrections because you’re serving three times a day, seven days a week without a break. If you’re looking to do any work in your kitchen, be sure to give your sales rep a call and let us show you how we can help.
We’re happy to share this Dishmachine Installation checklist with you and hope you find it helpful. Our next post will be specific to Flight Type dishmachines, commonly found in correctional facilities, with specific questions that you should ask prior to considering the purchase and installation of a flight type dishmachine.