Cook's Direct Foodservice Equipment and Supply

A Tray For the Long Haul: Marathon

February 15th, 2022

One of the most important components of a jail meal serving operation is the tray used for serving. Many of the other components, like tray delivery carts, tray drying racks, dishracks, and carts will be selected to coordinate with the prisoner meal tray. Additionally, the jail food tray needs to support the jail menu. Finally, whatever food tray is selected, it has to be able to stand up to the abuse that it will take in that particular jail or prison. For correctional meal trays used to serve in-cell meals or that have to travel from the kitchen to a pod, they also need to hold heat to keep meals at food safe temperatures when they finally do reach the inmate.

Most correctional meal trays start with the durability as their main feature because if they are easily damaged, they become useless pretty quickly and need to be replaced too frequently. Heat retention is also an important consideration, but it is most important to facilities where meals need to travel longer distances. If you’re operation is able to serve prisoners their meal within 10 minutes of tray assembly, heat retention is less important than it would be for a facility that needs to transport trayed up meals over long distances that take a half hour or more to travel.

One of our most popular jail food trays is the Marathon Tray. This tray has incredible durability and it also stacks securely and tightly. The Marathon Insulated Meal Tray is made from a specially formulated solid material that is rugged and durable. These trays won’t dent in the corner, like some insulated prisoner food trays, and because the Marathon is a solid material it won’t absorb water, which can happen with a traditional insulated jail meal tray.

When it comes to holding temperatures of meals, the Marathon Tray is also a great product. These trays have a two-step design so that trays stack securely and ambient air does not leak into the food compartments to cool off hot food or heat up cold food. Like all jail or prison meal trays that are being transported with prisoner meals already inside, we recommend stacking and then strapping the trays with a transport strap, even if trays are going inside of a meal delivery cart. Using a strap will keep trays tightly stacked and seal in the heat or cold to maintain temperature longer.

Marathon Trays also come with a Marathon Insulated Tray Lid, which can be used on the top of stacks or with each insulated tray that goes out to prisoners. The Marathon tray and lids are available in Brown or Charcoal Grey. The finish on these trays is easy to clean and hard to mark. The material won’t absorb food odors so that you don’t have any flavor carryover.

There are also four versions of the Marathon Correctional Meal Tray. These for models are:

The traditional Marathon

The Extra Deep Marathon Tray to hold larger portions of food and improve sanitation

The Raised Compartment Marathon Tray which has a raised bottom making portions look larger and more appealing when served

The Slotted Marathon Tray which has a cut out on the flatware slot allowing you to quickly see that the flatware is included with the tray for delivery and for pickup.

However you are serving, the Marathon Tray is a great option for meal delivery to inmates in jails or prisons. If you are interested in a sample Marathon Tray to review, you can reach out to Cook’s customer service department or request one here.


Cook's Marathon Trays

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