Door within a door
June 18, 2009 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Is there a specific name for the little door-within-a-door often seen on prison cells that are used to pass food through?
posted by jontyjago to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Feeding flap?
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:10 PM on June 18, 2009

They seem to be called "food hatch" and "service hatch" by providers these days, according to the Google, but I feel like there was an older word for it that I've seen in books.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:12 PM on June 18, 2009

Apparently it's also called "bean slot" and "bean chute" by prisoners and corrections officers. "Food port," "food pass-through," "tray slot," and "tray pass-through" also turn up.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:14 PM on June 18, 2009

Ha! Sorry for being so posty. The old-fashioned term I was trying to recall was "judas gate" or "judas door."
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:17 PM on June 18, 2009

Sidhedevil: Posty goodness!

I second "tray slot" or "food tray slot."

My hazy recollection is that a judas door (or hole) has something to do with a peephole and the ability to see out rather than to pass something through.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:45 PM on June 18, 2009

When I was doing some volunteer work at a prison in California, we called them the "food slots". I think we ended up later simplifying it to "the slot", as in "can you open the slot on the door so I can give Smith his book?"
posted by niles at 3:46 PM on June 18, 2009

I've read it called a sally port in a mystery novel or two.
posted by Carol Anne at 3:51 PM on June 18, 2009

I just read it called "bean hole" in John Grisham's The Innocent Man.
posted by motsque at 4:25 PM on June 18, 2009

A Judas gate or Judas door is a door-within-a-door.
Think big castle door big enough to let a coach through, with a bar that requires 4 men to lift. No use opening the whole thing all the time, so you cut a smaller slightly-less-than-human-size door inside one of the larger doors.

Now for the food slot, are you looking for what prisoners/guards call it colloquially, or what prison architects or the folks who make things for prisons call it?
posted by penciltopper at 4:36 PM on June 18, 2009

A Judas gate or Judas door is a door-within-a-door {on a larger scale}

Well, poo. I see what you mean now, so now I am back to not knowing what the word I was thinking of is. I think it's used in A Tale of Two Cities, but that doesn't help much.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:55 PM on June 18, 2009

According to Jail Supply catalogs, it looks like the "industry" term is food pass or pass-through.
posted by necessitas at 7:25 PM on June 18, 2009

Sitting here with someone who used to work in a prison, who calls them cuff-ports. He says yes, they're big enough to pass food through, but that they're also meant to be big enough for the inmates to stick their hands out and get handcuffed when necessary.
posted by pril at 7:52 PM on June 18, 2009

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