Food Service Essay

1290 Words Feb 21st, 2011 6 Pages
Cook/Chill Centralized Food Service in Corrections
By Louise E. Mathews, Chief of Food Services, San Diego County, California, Sheriffs Department capacity of 2,345. In 1989, these facilities were holding up to 4,500 inmates-and the numbers were climbing-giving San Diego the dubious distinction of being the most overcrowded system in the country. To determine more effective ways of handling the increasing number of inmates, the county commissioned two external feasibility studies (1985 and 1989), as well as an internal study. With respect to food service, the findings of all the studies supported the creation of a centralized cook/chill system for the county’s facilities. There are two basic methods of cook/chill: cryo-vat (tumble
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Because staff can prepare food over a four- or five-day work week to serve seven days, the kitchen can be shut down for two or more days, also resulting in energy savings. Controlled, uniform production techniques assure that a product is the same each time it is made. National restaurant chains use this process to assure uniform high quality in their outlets across the country. In a properly supervised central kitchen cook/chill facility, it is easier to control quality, and there is less opportunity for inmate workers to tamper with the food. Because products are maintained in inventory, special diets and off-peak feeding are simplified. Because bulk production equipment is usually used, total kitchen space is reduced, despite the need for increased refrigeration. Duplicate full kitchen equipment need not be purchased and maintained at each facility. Equipment maintenance is concentrated at the central kitchen, with minimum requirements at the rethermalization satellite kitchens. Management functions are centered primarily in one kitchen operation with the appropriate technical/administrative support, an arrangement that helps to compensate to some degree for the shortage of qualified food service management personnel.

Energy savings l l

Consistency/quality control l l

Service flexibility l Space savings l Equipment savings l l

Management l San Diego’s Food Services Center
To incorporate this new technology, a new, central food

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