Cook’s Brand Products

Made For Corrections Mondays – Mini Spork

Welcome to another edition of Made For Corrections Mondays with Jeff Breeden. This week, you’ll be introduced to the Mini Spork, a unique ‘little’ eating utensil designed to flow through a 3″ waste pipe. It will have you saying, only in corrections. Click below to learn more.

Made for Corrections Mondays is a video series featuring a variety of foodservice kitchen equipment and supplies and highlights how they are Made for Corrections. All the videos are short and informative.

Be sure to check back next Monday to learn the unique challenges facing jail and prison foodservice operations and the corresponding Cook’s Brand product solutions that are Made For Corrections.

Welcome to Made for Corrections Monday

We’ve been in corrections for over 20 years, and so have many of our customers. It’s always interesting; maybe even amusing, when someone who isn’t in the industry finds out that you specialize in correctional foodservice. The first question is often something like – how is that a specialty? I like to respond with the obvious”picture yourself in a confined area with several inmates using very sharp knives.” It is fun to watch the dawning of awareness in their eyes and then the questions about how you address the unique challenges of the correctional kitchen begin; like sharp knives and inmates to start.

That’s what Made for Corrections Mondays is all about. This new series will introduce you to a variety of correctional foodservice kitchen equipment and supplies and highlight how they are Made for Corrections.

In these videos Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, will demonstrate kitchen products that help solve a challenge that is unique to corrections. Usually these product will help you improve security and safety or they are made to outlast inmate abuse. But some items have very specific backstories, like a spork that is designed to be flushed down a toilet and not cause an overflow. All of the videos are quick and informative.

We’re glad to have you join us for Made for Corrections Mondays. And if you have a product suggestion, question or a challenge in your facility that you need help solving, send an email to cmeneou@cooksdirect.com or give us a call at 1-800-956-5571. Thanks for watching and be sure to come back next week for another edition of Made for Corrections Monday.

Designed for Tray Make-Up in Corrections

The Correctional Tray Assembly Line from Cook’s is one of the earliest Cook’s Brand Products. In this video, Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, demonstrates many of the features that make this heavy-duty tray assembly line unique from other similar equipment solutions and how it is designed and engineered for corrections.

We introduced the Cook’s Brand Correctional Tray Assembly Line because the tray lines available on the general market aren’t built to be operated by staff that wants to break the legs, punch out the controls, turn over the tray line or destroy the rollers so they can make a weapon from the parts. And in a hospital cafeteria, that’s okay; but in a jail, you need corner braces, cross channel supports and welded leg gussets to keep things intact. You need a recessed control panel with a locking cover and a wide base so the line is too big to turn over easily. You also need one-piece rollers that are easy to clean, but don’t come apart so an inmate can use the shaft as a weapon and you get all this with the Cook’s Brand Correctional Tray Assembly Line. Plus your time to deliver meals will be faster because this line is designed to place inmates at optimal distance apart and from the food for efficient tray make-up. The gravity conveyor will also keep trays moving at the ideal speed; 17 to 20 trays per minute, providing an hourly production of about 1,000 + trays.

If you want to learn more about the correctional tray assembly line – watch the video and give us a call at 1-800-956-5571. Because it’s a Cook’s Brand product, we have standard models that can be fitted for your operation or customized to meet your specific needs.

On the road again….

Cook's Correctional ACA 2019 Summer Conference in Boston, MA Booth #1112

The Cook’s team is in Boston, MA this week at the 2019 ACA Summer Conference to showcase many of our most popular products and to meet customers and contacts that made their way to the east coast for the conference. The American Correctional Association has two large conferences a year; the winter conference held in early January each year and the summer conference in August. This year the conference is at Boston’s John B Haynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

If you too are on the road for the ACA Summer Conference, stop by and see us in booth #1112. You can meet Linda and Craig who are pictured above in out booth, along with Chadd, John and Jeff. You can also the Rhino M-102 meal delivery cart designed specifically for corrections, our new Raised Compartment Marathon Tray and our popular Flex products and Kettle Tools.

Two NEW Cook’s Brand Marathon Trays

This year we introduced two new versions of the Cook’s Brand Marathon Tray. The Marathon is our most popular insulated meal delivery tray for corrections.  The specially formulated solid material is exceptionally durable to withstand the abuses of correctional foodservice.  The one-piece design is also easy to clean and it has a jail & prison menu-friendly layout with one large entree compartment, a compartment that holds up to 3 slices of bread, a flatware compartment and then three remaining compartments to hold a vegetable/side, a starch and a piece of cake or sweet.

Shown above on the left is the new Cook’s Brand Raised Compartment Marathon Tray with the original Cook’s Brand Marathon Tray, shown on the right for comparison. We introduced the new Raised Compartment Marathon Tray to improve the presentation of meals by elevating food so portions appear heartier. Raising the bottom of the compartments makes them shallower than in the traditional tray and makes portions look larger. We also coved the underside of the compartments so that you won’t have food sticking to the tray above when you stack trays for delivery. This improves meal presentation and sanitation.

Along with the Raised Compartment Marathon, we are introducing the new Cook’s Brand Extra-Deep Marathon Tray. We developed the Extra-Deep Marathon tray for customers that have issues with food sticking on the underside of the tray above when stacked. Some menus in corrections have larger portions that required a compartment with more space so we dropped the marathon compartments down as much as we could giving you more room for a more sanitary and appealing meal delivery. Less mess; more appetizing meals.

To see how these meal delivery trays all compare to each other, watch Jeff Breeden; CEO of Cook’s Correctional, walk you through each of the trays in the 1 minute video posted below:

Check Out Our Newest Meal Tray Delivery Cart For Corrections

Last year we introduced the Rhino M-102 tray delivery cart, a smaller version of our Rhino M-150.  When we introduced the original Rhino in 2015, we had a lot of interest in the cart along with requests for a smaller version.  Customer feedback is great for product development, so we asked more questions and found that there were customers who loved what they saw with the Rhino Cart but needed a smaller version for jails and prisons looking to transport 100 trays or less.  There were also customers who wanted a shorter meal delivery cart that they could easily see over.

These were our top priorities and the Rhino M-102 delivers.  The first thing you’ll notice when you see the two carts side by side is that the Rhino M-102 is a full 14” shorter than the original.  It doesn’t block your view and because it’s shorter, smaller quantities of trays fit better inside.  Fully loaded the Rhino M-102 holds 102 Marathon trays where the original Rhino will hold 150 Marathon trays.  Hence the names; M-102 holds 102 & M-150 holds 150, we want to keep it simple.  For facilities using the Gorilla tray, the smaller Rhino holds 84 trays and the larger Rhino holds 120.

When we designed this cart, we had the benefit of a year’s experience in the field. We kept all the features that our customers loved and we refined anything that we could make better, but why read about it when you can see it?  Watch our video demonstration of the Cook’s Brand Rhino M-102 Meal Tray Delivery Cart presented by Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s. In less than 4 minutes you can learn why the Rhino M-102 is a great tray delivery solution for corrections.

Cook's Brand Rhino M-102 Video

Cook’s Brand Rhino M-102 Video

 

You can also see more online at https://www.cookscorrectional.com/product/cooks-630-m102-gr-rhino-cart-grey.

We also have a Rhino Flyer that you can download and print for future reference: http://ccr.commercev3.com/downloads/Rhino.pdf

 

The 3 Most Important Tips for Selecting an Insulated Tray

When it’s time to select an insulated tray for your facility, there are three critical components that must be considered:

1. What is your menu like?

Tray configurations can range from 3-6 compartments depending on your menu (4 and 6 being the most popular). Begin by analyzing your menu for a month to determine the biggest serving sizes and type of food served. Next, decide if you want two items to share the same compartment or if you want each item to have its own compartment.  Then, if the inmate receives a spork with every meal, decide if the spork will have its own compartment or be placed in a compartment with other food (normally, dry food, like bread). Check out the 4 compartment Gator Tray or Grizzly Tray for ideas of this style of tray. If a dedicated flatware compartment is important, check out the 6 compartment Gorilla Tray or Marathon Tray.

2. How do you serve your inmates?

Do the inmates eat in the dining room or in their pods?  For pods, insulated trays or heated carts are necessary to maintain food at the proper temperature.  If you are re-therming in the tray, you will need trays that tolerate a wide temperature range, like the Cook’s Flex Trays.  Its temperature range exceeds 450 degrees F. Check out the video below to see them in action.  If you are serving in a dining room, we recommend a standard, co-polymer 6 compartment tray.

3. How do you transport your meals?

Do you prefer to transport in an open cart or enclosed cart?  Are your required to deliver the meal with hot food above 140 degrees or does the food need to be above 140 when it leaves the kitchen?  Two shelf or flatbed carts provide economical transport of insulated trays.  Trays transported using this method generally hold temperature for 30 minutes.  Enclosed carts will hold temperature slightly longer, especially when transporting outside.  Cook’s has a wide range of two shelf carts, flat bed carts and enclosed carts.

Cook’s has an extremely deep assortment of insulated trays to meet all of your correctional serving needs, for more information visit the Tray Buying Guide or check out the best meal trays for Correctionals.

The new Correctional Buyers Guide is out!

Cook's Correctional Buyers GuideWe recently mailed the 2014 Correctional Buyers Guide for August and if you’re on our mailing list, you can be looking for that in your mailbox!  We publish our Buyers Guide three times a year – and in this version you’ll find mid-year product introductions and updates.

Some of the exciting new products that you’ll find in this catalog include the new Cook’s Brand 16 oz. Correctional Tumblers and the

Cook's Brand 16 oz Tumblers

Cook’s Brand 16 oz Tumblers

Cook’s Brand Reusable Meal Tray.  The tumblers are a new addition to our popular Cook’s Brand tumbler line and have all the features that you’re accustomed to in these products.   Available in Orange Copolymer or Clear or Transparent Blue Polycarbonate, these tumblers have a thick-wall construction to provide durability in the correctional environment.  They are textured to minimize surface scratches and designed for easy stacking and separation.  The Reusable Meal Tray was designed specifically to replace disposable Styrofoam trays for a positive environmental impact and a significant cost reduction in operations that utilize disposable trays for meal delivery.

We’ve also introduced the Caterseal Food Pan Gasket, which is a rubber gasket in sizes to fit half or full size steam table pans.  This rubber gasket fits around the edge of your steam table pan providing a tight seal between the well and the pan surface.  This also allows for staff to more easily remove the pans from the steam table.  And this gasket works with bent and dented pans.

There’s more to see in the catalog too.  We continue to strive to put together a collection of products that are appropriate for the correctional kitchen which includes heavy-duty equipment, smallwares and supplies designed to withstand the day-in day-out abuse of the jail and prison kitchen as well as cost-effective alternative commodity products as alternatives to higher priced brand names.   You can view the new 2014 catalog at http://www.cookscorrectional.com by clicking here:  2014 Correctional Buyers Guide.  If you would like a copy of the catalog mailed to you, please give us a call at 1-800-956-5571 or send an email to customerservice@cookscorrectional.com.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

 

5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Cook's Correctional Kitchen Equipment and SuppliesReprinted with permission from Summer 2014 INSIDER Magazine, the Official Magazine of the Association of  Correctional Food Service Affiliates.  By Linda Mills, MBA, RD, FADA Corporate Dietitian – Community Education Centers.

Food costs continue to increase and food budgets continue to decrease in many cases.  Fiscal health of food cost control is not cutting corners.  It is keeping a tight control on food costs.  So where can you find extra money?  Often the answer is right in your operation.  Have you looked at food waste recently as a source of losing money?

Over ProductionDo you know how much food is needed for a meal?  How many people are you serving?  What is the portion size?  How many ounces are in a pan?  How are recipes scaled to provide the necessary quantity?  These are just some of the questions related to over production that a manager needs to consider.  Yes, you want to have a little extra, but what percentage over is reasonable to allow for spillage in your operation?

Over Portioning — This is a universal issue.  Is the proper serving utensil being used.  Is the staff trained to know what portion goes with each color scooper or ladle?  Are portions served level or heaping?  When portions are heaping, what is the chance you will run out of food or need additional food for the meal?

Not Following Recipes — Typically the cost of a recipe is determined when a menu is developed to make sure the menu is within budget.  The cost of the recipe is determined using specific ingredients and specific quantities of those ingredients.  When standardized recipes are not followed there are a number of potential issues related to the cost.  Is the correct product used for that recipe or is the product used more expensive?  Is the correct quantity of an ingredient used?  If not, over or under purchasing may occur.  Both of which can impact the bottom line.

Not Rotating Stock — We have all heard of FIFO — First In, First Out.  However, FIFO may not be happening all the time in an operation and result in spoilage.  Proper rotation of all food items will prevent wasting money with the need to throw out an item because it is rotten or out of date.  It will also help determine if the order guide needs to be adjusted so less of an item is needed to adequately prepare the menu.

Time and Temperature Abuse — Time and temperature abuse will result in the need to throw out food.  Lack of controls and follow-up with time and temperature standards in an operation can be very costly.  It most likely is a result of staff not properly doing their job.

The Bottom Line — Any and all of these practices can result in throwing money down the drain and having a negative impact on the bottom line of an operation.  What will you do TODAY to stop throwing money down the drain?

Linda Mills, MBA, RDN, FADA

Linda Mills, MBA, RDN, FADA

 

Bright Colors Reduce Loss

Cook's Brand Economy Spork

Cook’s Brand Economy Spork

A common issue in the correctional kitchen and any institutional operation is the loss of flatware and utensils.  It’s easy for these items to get thrown away.  They often go right into the trash when trays are cleared and if your flatware is beige or brown, staff may not even see that they’ve thrown it away.

Knowing this is a widespread problem which is both a nuisance and an unnecessary expenses, we made sure to include a bold color option in all our flatware and tumbler products in the Cook’s Brand line.  We offer a very bright orange for all our flatware, tumblers and some other items.  This can make it very obvious when the items make it into the trash can.  The color allows the item to visibly stand out, to minimize your loss.

We also have some of our trays in very bright colors for your convenience and we sell clear trash can liners so that you can see what’s getting thrown out as well as minimize the opportunity for contraband being hidden in the trash.  Our bright orange flatware products are the highest selling color in our offering.

Janet St. Clair, Customer Service Manager Cook's

Janet St. Clair