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  • February 25th, 2022

    If you’ve been in foodservice at a jail or prison for any amount of time, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with Cook’s; at least we hope you are! We’ve been in the specialized fields of correctional foodservice equipment and supplies for 25 years and our founders had many more years of experience before starting the company. This makes Cook’s quite unique in the larger industry of kitchen equipment and supplies for commercial and institutional foodservice. But we aren’t different because we specialize in working with correctional facilities – it’s more a case that we work with correctional facilities because we are different. We have spent 25 years learning along side our customers about how to help correctional foodservice operations as safe and as efficient as they can be. And we take all this expertise and use it on every phone call, quote and project we are part of to make sure that our customers have the best possible product, layout or operational process in their jail or prison kitchen.

    The Dead Man Box is a great example of this. First, you won’t find a Dead Man Box on Webstaurant’s website. You’ll only find this at Cook’s. The idea of a ‘dead man tray’ isn’t exclusive to corrections. This is a tray that contains one sample of a meal which is trayed up, sealed and labeled and then placed in the freezer. These meals are saved for at least three days in case there is a foodborne illness outbreak. If two or more inmates get sick after eating the same meal, the meal tray is recovered and tested for pathogens like E. coli, salmonella or norovirus. Along with saving meals should there be any contamination, it’s also a way to save meals in case there has been any intentional tampering or if an inmate complains that the facility isn’t serving what is promoted on the menu and chooses to file a grievance. Saving a dead man tray is an industry practice in corrections, but not in many other industries.

    The Dead Man Box and Kit is a Cook’s Brand product developed by our founders in the early days of Cook’s. We knew that storing a tray was a standard practice for our customers in jail and prison foodservice, but just storing them isn’t enough. The Dead Man Box and Kit is a ‘system’ to store, label and rotate meals making the foodservice manager’s life easier. Each kit containers a sturdy aluminum sample tray box which is designed to go into a freezer, ten meal trays with lids and a box of dissolvable tray labels. There are ten trays in each kit allowing you to store three days of meals and have one tray in the wash cycle. The trays fit neatly into the Dead Man Box and as each meal is trayed up, it is placed on the top of the stack. As each new tray is placed in the box, the bottom tray is removed easily using the opening at the base of the Dead Man Box. This keeps the trays organized and easy to find should an outbreak occur. No searching all over your walk-in for the previous few days of trays. They will all be in one place and well organized with a Dead Man Box and Kit.

    There are many other product in the Cook’s Brand line that are exclusive to Cook’s and specific to the correctional foodservice operation. And many of these products were developed because we had a customer with an issue that we couldn’t find a good product solution for via the standard commercial kitchen equipment supply channel. If you have a problem in your kitchen, let us know, you may just help us create the next Cook’s Brand product.

    Cook's Deadman box

    Keywords: Cook's Dead Man Box