Meat slicers are common in groceries, delis, restaurants, and just about in any place where there’s food being sold, prepared, or processed. Given that it handles food then it is only necessary that we observe proper ways and routines to clean them.
There are standards on how one should maintain their meat slicers and that’s going to be part of our discussion in this article. So, where do you start on how to clean meat slicer? While the process is fairly simple and easy to understand it can get a bit dangerous BUT only if you are A) careless and don’t do it the right way, and B) if you don’t follow safety precautions.
Let’s get slicing!
Caution: Before Start Cleaning Process:
- The very first thing that you should always remember is to unplug your meat slicer before any cleaning process. If you cannot do so, then make sure you follow OSHA’s Lockout and Tagout guidelines.
- Please don’t put your meat slicer in a dish machine or a dish sink.
- Don’t pressure wash or maybe even spray your meat slicer.
- Make sure to not use steel wool on it.
- You must always wear gloves when handling the blade of your meat slicer. A food handling glove should work on one hand. But on your other hand, you need to make sure you are wearing a cut-resistant glove, and at the same time put a food glove on top of it for health and sanitary reasons.
- Please do prepare a separate wash and rinse bucket. The wash bucket should contain hot water with detergent. Please also make sure that you have a sanitizer spray handy.
OSHA has reported thousands of incidents every year that are related to meat slicer incidents. So be sure to follow these precautionary steps. Being careful goes a long way.
Know-How to Clean a Meat Slicer Properly And Sanitize It?
Now, let’s get cleaning! Please do take note that as per FDA guidelines, a meat slicer should be cleaned as well as sanitized every four hours. And you guessed it, this is to make sure that no foodborne illnesses will be spread through the meat that you’re to process later on, on these meat slicers.
Unfortunately, not a lot of operators follow this guideline and that can be bad for business and your customers. Please don’t be like those operators, let’s be responsible enough to do our part.
To remind you again, please do unplug your meat slicer before any cleaning happens. Ensure it is disabled and set the blade to zero.
The next you got to do once you’ve ensured that the meat slicer is turned off is to clean it a little bit. Please go ahead and use a gentle scrub, pad, cloth, or towel to remove any large particles from the blade. Again, don’t use steel wool.
The next step requires a little bit of disassembly as this is required for us to fully clean your meat slicer. You need to remove the product tray, center plate, and the slice deflector. Go ahead and remove the knife sharpener too should your model have one.
Then go ahead and wash these components, don’t forget to rinse, and then sanitize. Make sure not to miss any of the parts like knobs, screws, handles, and seams.
TIPs: Clean the blade with a soapy solution. That’s got to be a 1:1 ratio for your hot water and your soap. You may also use a degreaser spray for this process. Clean both the front and the back of the blade and wipe from its center outwards. You have the option not to remove the blade but we advise that you do so, for a much thorough clean.
Make sure to wipe the exterior and the pieces of the slicer. Rinse with hot water after and use a clean towel. Take note that the slicer is THE core component and meat goes through it, so you got to make sure that it’s thoroughly cleaned to stop any spread of germs.
After washing all the components and the slicer of your machine. It’s time to go grab your sanitizer for a thorough and nice coating of it. Use a spray bottle if you can.
The last you got to do to make sure your meat slicer is ready for another round of work is to lubricate it. All you got to do is to lubricate the rods before reassembling everything.
TIPs: Should you see any part of your meat slicer where water accumulates, be sure to insert a non-linting towel on them before lubricating. This is to remove any residue and make sure everything is dry.
Here’s Video Guide To Helps You More Understanding- Let’s Watch!
Meat Slicer Maintenance Tips (The Ultime Guide)
Now that you’ve known how to clean your meat slicer then it is important to know how to make sure that the blade is always in good shape. Processing meat around meat slicers can be dangerous but what’s even worse is a dull blade for it.
- Always clean and sharpen the blade of your meat slicer. You know how often you should clean it now and you also have to know how to sharpen it too. You just need to use the specified sharpening stone for meat slicers.
- Take note that you should only sharpen your blade after it is cleaned. And also, be sure to disinfect it after you’re done with the sharpening process.
- Always check your manufacturer’s instructions. If the manual recommends you get the machine services regularly then go ahead and do so.
Why You Should Clean Your Meat Slicers (Most Common Reason)
If you’re still thinking of skipping cleaning time then these reasons should make you think otherwise.
Prevention of Any Foodborne Illnesses
There have been incidents reported by the FDA about foodborne illnesses caused by meat slicers in delis and chain restaurants. The outbreaks were basically caused by the build-up of some food soils as well as disease-causing micro-organism on said slicers.
Now, you don’t want to be a part of any of that, do you? You don’t endanger the lives of other people but you might lose business opportunities just because of carelessness and disregarding protocol. It won’t take much to clean those meat slicers and other food handling equipment either.
Get Pass Health Inspections
These health inspections only aim to keep everyone safe and healthy. If you clean your stuff especially your meat slicers all the time, then passing surprised health checks would be a breeze. You don’t want your business temporarily or permanently shut down just because of laziness, right?
Keep the Machines Running Well
There’s nothing like clean and smoothly operating equipment. Little do you know that maintaining these machines are quite cost-effective in the long run. You’ll encounter fewer issues with them, fewer customer complaints, and little to no health issues.
You dodge a huge bullet should you always make sure that your stuff is clean. You don’t give bacteria, germs, or any other viruses to grow and buildup. Also, cleaning meat slicers ensure that everyone in the workplace is safe. Less time off by your employees due to illnesses ensures that your business runs consistently.