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Your Guide to Disposable Plastic Glassware

Restaurants, bars and caterers often use plastic glasses rather than traditional glass for durability and affordability. However, if you have shopped for plastic glassware you know that there are various types of plastics to choose from. So, what’s the difference?

Each type of plastic has its own characteristics. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you know what you’re getting when you choose one over the other to help you select the type of plastic you require.

Polycarbonate

polycarbonate plastic glassware
This is a very durable, hard-wearing plastic and is used to make riot shields and crash helmets. It is often touted as unbreakable, and it’s close to that. Glasses made from polycarbonate are dishwasher save up to and beyond 500 washes. Because of this, these glasses are the recommended choice for use in nightclubs, bars and pubs. Polycarbonate glasses can also be recycled.

SAN

SANplasticblog

SAN, or Styrene Acrylonitrile, is a very hard and long lasting plastic, but it does crack when put under significant pressure. SAN glasses are dishwasher safe and are able to withstand the high temperature and chemicals in commercial dish machines. For this reason, glasses made of SAN are a good fit for restaurants as well as household use. San is also a recyclable material.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene Plastic Cups
Polystyrene (PS) is a hard and somewhat brittle plastic that is used to make reusable, as well as disposable, plastic tumblers and glasses. One of the benefits of polystyrene is that it can be recycled.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene Dinex Plastic-ware

Polypropylene (PP) is used in many different applications beyond food service. A thermoplastic polymer, you will find polypropylene in stationary, packaging, textiles as well as disposable plastic glasses. Polypropylene can be recycled just as polystyrene can be; however, polypropylene glasses are not reusable, where there are reusable polystyrene glasses.

You can find a variety of plastic tumblers and other types of plastic drink ware at Cook’s Direct.

When it Comes to Disposable Flatware, You Have Many Choices

When it comes to disposable flatware, you can either settle for flimsy, substandard plastic flatware that will snap the second pressure is applied, or sturdy, appealing flatware that functions properly and offers some additional benefits at the same time. If you have ever been on the receiving end of plastic ware that delivers headaches and not much more, then you know just how important making the right choice is. Throw security considerations into the mix and you are faced with one huge challenge. We found three of the most innovative and economical disposable flatware on the market.

FSE disposable flatware is a top performer because of its durability and cost-effectiveness. You can get teaspoons, forks, knives, soup spoons and even flatware kits to really make things easy.

Ecotensil has moved to the top of the market particularly for high security applications. This large, silky-smooth, spoon is easy to use and recyclable-plus, it comes in a variety of different sizes and made in the USA. The best part is, they remove worry from situations where safety is important and crucial.

With the strength to stand up to everyday dining tasks like cutting foods and piercing meats, and offering great looks in the bargain, Hoffmaster flatware is the clear winner. This flatware is also biodegradable and 100% compostable. Their spoons, forks and knives will hold up well in the dining room and is surprisingly economical. An all-around outstanding choice.

400_ecotensil_esu

How to Choose the Right Material for Meal Serving Products

One of the questions we frequently hear from our customers is ‘how do I know what material is the right choice for my trays and other meal serving products?’ To best answer that question, we put together this video that reviews the different materials and shows you the properties of each. There are four different types of materials that we use in meal serving products:

  • silicone
  • soft hybrid plastic
  • copolymer
  • polycarbonate.

The Flex Line and Sentry Series both have security benefits while copolymer and polycarbonate are all about durability and great value. You’ll see demonstrations of all these products in the following video.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-956-5571 and we’ll be happy to help you!. And be sure to check out our other videos on the Cook’s Correctional YouTube Channel.

MaterialsVideoGraphic_2

Cook’s Kitchen Equipment Sizing Guide

Year-end spend deadlines are looming and many of our customers use this as an opportunity to replace equipment that’s nearing the end of its life. If you are considering a new piece of equipment for your facility or replacing an existing piece, it’s a good idea to review the Cook’s Equipment Sizing Guide to be sure that whatever you purchase has the capacity to meet your production needs. The equipment sizing guide will help you find the right sized pieces for your population. Read from left to right for the number of inmates. If you need any assistance, our sales reps are always happy to help you.

Equipment Sizing Guide

Introducing The Rhino Cart

I want to introduce you to our latest Cook’s Brand product:  The Rhino Cart

  • The Rhino Cart is an extremely durable, one-piece insulated tray delivery cart.
  • Made from FDA approved high impact polyethylene and fully insulated for strength and superior heat retention.
  • The Rhino Cart is only 29 ¾” Deep so it fits through narrow 30” doorways – going where many other carts can’t go.
  • Rugged molded-in hinge pin doors open 260o giving you unobstructed access to the interior for easy loading, unloading and cleaning.
  • Quick delivery time of approximately 2-weeks from order date (excludes shipping time).

But while a picture is worth a thousand words – a video is even better! Take a look at our Rhino Cart demonstration video featuring Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s.

How to Select an Insulated Tray

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

What’s your Menu?

How do you serve your inmates?

And how do you transport your meals?

The first step is to analyze your menu and determine the appropriate tray layout. Tray configurations can range from 3-6 compartments depending on your menu requirements (6 being the most popular). It is best to begin by analyzing your meal schedule for a month. From there, determine what is the highest number of items you serve in one meal and that will tell you how many compartments you’ll want to get in your tray. The final consideration is your flatware and condiments, there are trays with flatware compartments(check out the Gorilla Tray or Marathon Tray)  and tray’s without them (see the Gator Tray or Grizzly Tray).

Next, you need to determine how your meals are served. If you serve in a cook/chill or re-therm environment we recommend that you research trays with a wide temperature range, like the Cook’s Flex Trays–best for high security environments. With the cook/serve method, first determine if you have a cafeteria style environment or you transport to a pod. Depending on your situation, you need to consider tray stacking and ways to avoid overflow.

Finally, the tray you choose is influenced by a wide variety of elements-from what you serve to how you serve it. You can transport your trays in an open or closed tray delivery cart (see Cook’s Brand Carts). It is critical you keep temperature around 180 degrees so you can deliver and serve at a minimum temperature of 140 degrees.

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 wide selection of trays available at cookscorrectional.com.

Happy Thanksgiving from Cook’s!

from all of us at Cook's!

from all of us at Cook’s!

All of us at Cook’s would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your business!  We know that without you, we wouldn’t be here.  To get you in the holiday spirit and help you wow your fellow guests with Thanksgiving trivia, here are ten fun facts about the holiday:

  1. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days!
  2. The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621.  He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast
  3. Thanksgiving holidays were once commonly celebrated around the time the Pilgrims came to America in 1620.  It was not unusual in England and many parts of Europe to frequently set aside days of giving thanks to God.
  4. 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.  To feed all those hungry people, there are about 280 million turkeys sold annually, which is nearly 7 billion pounds of turkey!
  5. Cranberries are another Thanksgiving favorite and nearly 20% of all cranberries consumed in the US each year are eaten on Thanksgiving Day.
  6. Thanksgiving came into being a holiday under President Lincoln, although Sarah Joespha Hale, best known as the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, lobbied for 20 years to five different presidents, numerous governors, congressmen and media sources.  Lincoln decided on the last Thursday of November as a national Thanksgiving holiday.
  7. Thanksgiving was moved up a week by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, 1940 & 1941 to extend the Christmas shopping season – but several states didn’t go along with the move.  Congress stepped in to unify the holiday and in October of 1941 set the date for the 4th Thursday of November where it is now.
  8. Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey along with two dressed turkeys to the President.  The President then ‘pardons’ the live turkey to live out its life on a historical farm.
  9. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in the 1920’s.
  10. Americans aren’t the only ones celebrating Thanksgiving, our neighbors to the north do too. Canada celebrates on the second Monday in October.

Wishing you a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Cook’s Correctional Kitchen Equipment and Supplies!