Correctional kitchen safety products

Made For Corrections Mondays – Cook’s Brand Mugs

Welcome to another edition of Made For Corrections Mondays. This week Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, will show you the four different types of mugs offered by Cook’s Brand and how each of them is designed to fulfill a need in correctional meal service.

Cook’s Brand offers correctional food-service operators coffee mugs that are designed to be durable, safe and functional in correctional environments. All the mugs are designed with a large handle that will fit bigger hands. Additionally, there are indentations on the bottom of all the mugs so that water will run off when they come out of the dish machine rather than pool on top so they dry faster. There are four different material options so that you get the right mug to match the security level of your facility. Our most popular mugs are the co-polymer which are a good fit in minimum or medium security facilities and appropriate for the general population in most correctional facilities. If you are looking for longer wear, the poly-carbonate mugs are nearly unbreakable, but it is important to know that poly-carbonate is a harder plastic and if it does get broken, any shards from the mug can be sharpened into a weapon. If you have any concerns about this, the co-polymer mug is a better choice as it is a softer material. For environments where safety is a concern, the Sentry Series mug or the Flex mug are your best choices. The Sentry Series mug is an FDA approved pliable material that bends without breaking and returns to it’s original shape. For seg or maximum security areas, the Flex Mug is the best option. Flex Mugs are made of FDA approved silicone. These mugs are pliant and flexible so inmates cannot shatter, chip or break off part of the mug to use as a weapon. All Cook’s Brand mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe.

For further information about Cook’s Brand mugs or other meal service products, give us a call at 800-956-5571 and our customer service team will be happy to assist you. Until next week – Stay Safe!

New for 2020: The Cambro High Heat Measuring Cup

Adding a new measuring cup to a correctional foodservice equipment and supplies catalog doesn’t seem like news, but the Cambro High Heat Measuring Cup is an innovative new product that we think will be a good fit to correctional foodservice operations.  Once you learn more about it, you’ll see that this high heat measuring cup is made to take the heat in the kitchen! 

There are two sizes, a 2QT and a 4QT, plus there is a universal lid that fits both cups.  The high heat cups are designed with a BPA-free heat-tolerant plastic that gives them a temperature range from -40o F to 375o F.  That makes them ideal to use in microwaves, ovens, or with kettles even hot water dispensers.  Applications for the correctional kitchen include filling steam tables with hot water, draining liquids from a tilt skillet or kettle, or filling beverage servers with hot coffee.  Add the universal splatter-proof cover, which is sold separately, and the high heat measuring cup is a great solution for retherming soups, sauces or broth in the microwave. It can also be used to rehydrate dried ingredients.

These measuring cups are translucent amber color allowing you to easily see the contents and they feature Metric and American Standard Graduation marks so you can tell how much product is in the cup with a glance.  To keep things safe, the integrated handle won’t break off and will stay cool to the touch, and the optional self-venting splatter-proof cover protects the user and surfaces from any boiling liquid splashing outside.  The splatter-proof lid is also re-usable, reducing the use of plastic wrap in your correctional foodservice operation.

One of the highlights to these measuring cups is that they are 75% lighter than glass making them significantly easier to handle when filled.  And because they are made of plastic, they won’t bend or dent like an aluminum or stainless steel measuring cup and won’t crack, break or shatter if dropped like a glass measuring cup can. These cups are also NSF listed. 

The 2QT measuring cup is 9”W x 6-3/8”H with a bottom diameter of 4-3/8” and a top diameter of 7-1/2”.  The 4QT measuring cup is 9-1/8”W x 10-3/8”H with a bottom diameter of 4-3/8” and a top diameter of 7-1/2”.  The Splatter-proof Cover fits on both cups and is 7-1/2”w x 1”H.  The 1”lip on the cover fits over the measuring cups to ensure the lids don’t easily slip off. 

You can look for the new Cambro High Heat Measuring Cups in the New Product Section of the 2020 Buyers Guide for Corrections.  If you’re interested in purchasing, you can find these online here (2QT or 4QT) or give us a call at 1-800-956-5571 and our customer service team would be happy to help you.

Made For Corrections Mondays – Sentry Series Spork

Today’s edition of Made For Corrections Mondays is all about the Sentry Series Spork. This is a truly unique piece of flatware that offers a safer way for inmates to eat. The Sentry Series Spork is made from a soft plastic that can be bent without breaking and it will return to it’s original shape. Because it cannot be broken, inmates cannot sharpen the Sentry Series Spork into a weapon.

If you have any questions about our Sentry Series Spork, or other Cook’s Brand products, give us a call at 800-956-5571 or visit us online at cookscorrectional.com. We can also assist you in finding the best heavy-duty kitchen equipment and supplies for the correctional kitchen.

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.

Have you seen Gordon Ramsey Behind Bars?

1st video in the Gordon Ramsey Behind Bars Series

Most of us have heard the name Gordon Ramsey and have a sense of his aggressive kitchen management style that is a hallmark in his TV shows. Gordon Behind Bars is a British television series in which Gordon Ramsay teaches inmates of Brixton prison, just about five minutes from Ramsay’s residence, how to cook.

While it’s in Britain and not the US, there’s plenty that should feel familiar. The objective is to get the inmates working and generating income for the facility and in the process, learning a skill that will give them a future. Many of our contacts have culinary programs in their facility with the goal of educating inmates for their future on the outside. Take a look at the video. Do you see any similarities to your correctional foodservice operations? Does the correctional kitchen equipment look like what you are using here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Correctional Kitchen Equipment from Cook's

Correctional Kitchen Equipment

Our tagline is The leader in correctional kitchen equipment and supplies.  That’s because Cook’s is built on a foundation of correctional operations experience.  Prior to launching Cook’s, our founder spent 20 years as an operator and recognized first-hand the importance of portion control, security and durability in correctional foodservice operations.

We absolutely understand how a kitchen operates in a correctional facility. Whether you are cook/serve, cook/chill, or have bulk transport needs, we provide the best products possible.  Matching your facilities requirements with the right equipment is what we do best.

With Cook’s you’ll get the right equipment for your kitchen, rooted in a deep understanding of how the correctional kitchen works and the demands unique to corrections.

View Cook’s Heavy-duty Correctional Kitchen Equipment Offering

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

New high security mop buckets from Geerpres

Geerpres 511 High Security Combo Mop Bucket

Geerpres 511 Mop Bucket

As a specialty foodservice equipment and supply distributor that focuses on the correctional market, we are continually looking for products that offer security features with the goal of incorporating them into the Cook’s Correctional Buyers Guide and our website – so they are easily accessible to you.    When we came across the Champ 35 Qt mop bucket from Geerpress we were impressed with the design and production quality and added it into the 2014 catalog.

Testing has proven that the Geerpres Champ 35 Qt mop bucket is the best choice for high security areas.  It is the smoothest, cleanest, most stable plastic bucket in its class to hit the floor.  The Champ bucket is incredibly stable with casters positioned outside the bucket rim and extremely durable with unique double-wall design. The smooth, one-piece plastic design promotes better sanitation.  And without any easily removable parts in the heavy-duty ultra wringer, this mop bucket is perfect for use in corrections.

You can find the Geerpres High Security Mop Bucket at Cook’s Correctional in under Floor Cleaning Supplies in the Janitorial category on Cook’s Correctional.

Claudia Santangelo, Product Merchant

Claudia Santangelo

  

Keep it Simple and Strong (part 5 in a series)

Heavy-duty Globe Whip made just for Corrections

Heavy-duty Globe Whip made by Cook’s just for Corrections

Specification and selection of appropriate equipment is the third key to good correctional kitchen design.  While some standard institutional equipment can be used in corrections, the details must not inspire exploitation.  Handles should be welded on, not screwed.  Stainless steel equipment should be specified as 14-gauge heavy-duty steel.  Coolers should have bar locks, and walk-in coolers should have an interior escape mechanism.  Knives and other implements should be stored on shadow boards in a lockable 14-gauge steel cabinet.

Storage cabinets should have strong locks with hasps, bars, or other secure devices.  In many cases it is advisable to have separate locked storage within the storage area for high contraband items like spices, coffee and sugar.  Since manufacturers have discovered the correctional market, many new products designed specifically for jails and prisons are now available.  There are many new systems on the shelf awaiting the right application.

A word to the wise, however – a thorough evaluation, with a cautious eye, should always be used when evaluating options presented to you from different manufacturers.  One quick way to analyze a system or piece of equipment is this:  When an explanation of how it works and what benefit it delivers takes longer than a minute, ask if the system is too complex or too fragile for inmate use and probable abuse.  When you build and renovate a kitchen, remember the KISS dictum:  keep it simple and strong.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou