Cost Savings Potential of the Department of Correctional Services Cook-Chill Program

Source: New York Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability, 2010-MS-3, 2010

This report explains how the use of cook-chill food services in county correctional facilities is an effective way to provide food services to inmates in the most efficient way possible. “Under the Cook-Chill process, large quantities of food are cooked to a just-done state, then chilled rapidly and stored under tightly controlled temperature conditions. The food is then shipped and requires only reheating in order to be served, with an average ordering-to-consumption window of about three weeks. The majority of the food is shipped in large, sealed plastic bags and is reheated at the prisons for serving. Other cold food items, including juice and salads, are packaged in individual serving containers. The typical Cook-Chill bulk items come in 20-portion bags” (p. 4). The major part of this report looks at: potential cost savings; cost savings; other long-range operational improvements; and recommendations. Counties in New York have the potential to save over $11 million per year by using cook-chill processing.