Meticulous cleaning is one of the most essential parts of food safety and that is why food processing units must take special care for cleaning all their food preparation and processing appliances.
After using a meat slicer you should clean and sanitize it. That is the bottom line.
But, how to clean a meat slicer? And the next issue is “how often should a meat slicer be cleaned?”, and “at a minimum how often must a meat slicer be cleaned and sanitized when in constant use?”
A rigid cleaning protocol must be maintained for meat processing outlets where any meat slicer is used for quick chopping and mincing of meat so that there is the least possibility of contamination.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Cleaning is Important
- 2 Specific Problem Points of a Meat Slicer
- 3 How Often Should A Meat Slicer Be Cleaned
- 4 How to Clean a Meat Slicer
- 5 How to Clean the Meat Slicer: Step-By-Step Cleaning Process
Why Cleaning is Important
Apart from in our own home kitchens, meat slicers are used in different types of retail outlets like grocery stores, delis, catering businesses, fast food centers and in different food service outlets for mincing, slicing, chopping, and different types of cutting and processing of meats.
It is obvious that thorough cleaning and maintenance of this apparatus is really important for the sake of cleanliness. health, and proper customer care. Regular cleaning of a meat slicer improves the durability of its blade and you can enjoy a longer and better service life from the slicer you are using.
Unless you clean the meat slicer properly and when necessary, there is the risk of building up raw meat residue, causing fungus and harmful bacteria to form. This can cause serious contamination to your sliced meat when using the machine and creates a health hazard.
Not the greatest idea if you want to remain friends with your dinner guests, or your customers!
Let’s get to the main points of this article, what are the main problem points in a meat slicer, and how often should a meat slicer be cleaned.
Specific Problem Points of a Meat Slicer
There are some typical parts of the meat slicer that should be taken special care of in terms of cleaning the appliance. These are the blade guard, ring-guard mount, the handle of the slicer machine, etc. Furthermore, if there is any cracked, broken or loose parts on the slicer, these points generally attract blood and meat tissue causing serious health threats and a foul smell. Minute cleaning of these points is important to maintain a healthy condition of the meat slicer machine.
Also you need to keep your alert eye on the seams, seals, and the rubber gasket of the slicer machine so that you can replace these parts before they get worn out and damaged. If you find any gasket is damaged you need to repair or replace it immediately before you use the slicer because these damaged parts will accumulate blood and meat particles, causing unhealthy conditions for meat slicing.
Unless you can identify the problematic parts of the slicer, it becomes difficult to keep it thoroughly clean. Now the next vital issue is when to clean the slicer and its components.
How Often Should A Meat Slicer Be Cleaned
A quick and easy guide:
As a rule, cleaning and sanitizing must be done during the following circumstances:
- After using the equipment
- Anytime you start preparing a different type of food
- When a food preparation task has been interrupted, leaving the tools prone to contamination
- At intervals of four hours, particularly if you are using the equipment constantly
For home use, the slicer should be cleaned after every use.
At a minimum how often must a meat slicer be cleaned and sanitized when in constant use?
If you use your slicer in your business, it is important to maintain a cleaning routine every day for your meat slicer. According to FDA recommendations, a meat slicer should be cleaned every 4 hours if you are using it frequently. The slice blade and the face plate have to be thoroughly cleaned so that the slicer can be free from all types of food contamination.
What If I Switch The Meats Or Kinds Of Food I Am Slicing?
When switching meats, produce, or cheeses, you must practice wiping down the slicer first beforehand.
Complete cleaning and sanitizing must be done once you are finished slicing for the day.
How to Clean a Meat Slicer
Tips Before you Start Your Cleaning
Before you start your meat slicer cleaning task, do not forget to ensure a few safety protections. These are:
- Read carefully the instruction of the manufacturer as it will help you to understand the nuances of cleaning your meat slicer model
- Use cut-resistant hand gloves so that your hands and fingers remain safe and protected.
- Always use these cut-proof metal gloves while cleaning the blade of the meat slicer
- Do not use steel wool products for cleaning your meat slicer: it may damage your machine by creating permanent scratches on it
- Do not submerge the meat slicer or clean it in the dishwasher.
How to Clean the Meat Slicer: Step-By-Step Cleaning Process
- Set the cut thickness to zero. Use a gentle scrubbing pad to wipe both sides of the blade while the slicer is moving (now do you understand why we keep telling you to wear those cut-resistant gloves). Once the large food particles are removed, turn off the machine and unplug it.
- Unplug the slicer and make sure that the machine is set to off or zero.
- Ensure that there are no more large meat particles from the blade with the help of a thick scrub pad placed on a cleaning wand
- Be double sure that the gauge plate is completely closed
- Now you need to take out the center plate, product tray, and slice deflector one by one: you need to wash, rinse, and thoroughly clean these components and then allow them to get air dried
- You may use a blade removal device for removing the blade of the slicer for cleaning the same
- In case you don’t have the tool with you, you may have no option other than leaving the blade in its place. Take extra care and caution while cleaning the blade when in its own position as the slightest slip may cause a serious wound on your hand, especially if not using cut-resistant gloves.
- Now make a solution of dishwashing soap and warm water and clean the front and rear side of the slicing blade
- You may use a degreaser spray for cleaning the slicer blade safely
- You need to clean the central part of the slicer positioned just behind the slicer blade
- Now wipe down the outside and all parts of the slicer
- Rinse the blade and other parts of the slicer with hot water and wipe off with a clean towel
- The next thing that you should do is to sanitize the meat slicer to prevent bacteria and microbes from forming on the surface. It will be better if you have a spray gun bottle.
- Fill the bottle with bleach solution and water. A safe amount of bleach to put in a 500ml bottle would be two caps full. Spray the whole meat slicer with the solution.
- Once finished, you will need to let the meat slicer dry and when it is dry enough, take a paper towel and wipe the remaining wet spots on the slicer.
- Now take a spray lubricant and lubricate thoroughly the slide rods
- Use a sharpening stone to restore the sharpness of the slicing blade.
- After sharpening disinfect the blade again.
- Once the slicer is completely dry, replace the blade, facial plate, and the product tray.
- In certain situations some areas on your meat slicer may accumulate water. You need to dry these areas with a non-linting towel drenched in lubricants so that the machine remains dust and rust free.
- Use the cleaning as an opportunity to check any gaskets, seals for wear. If worn out you may need to change them for better performance of the slicer.
- If you are not going to use the slicer, you need to cover it to prevent microbes and dust from landing on the surface. Just repeat these simple steps if you are going to clean your meat slicer and to make sure that the equipment is sanitized.
This all seems to be a lot of work but you will get used to it and it will not take long at all.
Now you have learned the secrets of how often should a meat slicer be cleaned, and how to clean the slicer, you can understand its maintenance pretty well. A well maintained meat slicer offers longer service life and reduces the risk of food contamination.