After using a meat slicer, you should… do you even know what to do? Funny enough, not everyone knows what to do next after using their meat slicer. Let’s talk about that in this article.
In any commercial kitchen, time is of the essence, and efficiency is key. This is why machines like meat slicers are a staple in many restaurants and food establishments. These machines make food preparation quick and easy, producing consistent and uniform slices every time.
However, with great power comes great responsibility. Failure to properly maintain and clean a meat slicer can lead to serious health risks for both customers and employees. Harmful bacteria can accumulate in the machine’s joints and crevices, which can contaminate food and cause foodborne illnesses.
To prevent this from happening, after using a meat slicer, you should clean and sanitize it. That will help keep it clean and safe to use. In this article, we will discuss why you need to always keep your meat slicer clean and how to properly do that.
After Using A Meat Slicer, You Should Clean and Sanitize It
Once you’re done using a meat slicer, the next crucial step is to properly clean and sanitize it. Neglecting to do so can lead to a buildup of bacteria and food debris, which can ultimately compromise the safety of the machine and the food it produces.
Cleaning a meat slicer may seem like a straightforward task, but it requires careful attention to detail and precision.
To begin with, it’s important to dismantle the machine correctly and wash each part thoroughly, paying close attention to the blade, the carriage, and any other areas where food debris might accumulate.
After cleaning, it’s also important to perform a post-operational checkup to detect any problems such as chipped blades or loose joints that could affect the performance and safety of the machine.
Taking these steps may require a little extra time and effort, but the payoff in terms of food safety and machine longevity is well worth it.
Why Is It Important to Clean Your Meat Slicer?
Regularly cleaning a meat slicer is essential for several reasons. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.
#1: Prevents Food Contamination
After using a meat slicer, you should clean it to prevent the buildup of food debris and bacteria, which can cause contamination and lead to foodborne illnesses.
Harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria can easily accumulate in the machine’s crevices and joints, making it a breeding ground for germs. But cleaning after use will already get rid of these harmful germs.
#2: Keeps the Machine Working at its Best
Cleaning the meat slicer has a way of maintaining its optimal performance. Food debris and moisture can cause the blade to become dull or rusty, which can compromise its ability to produce consistent and uniform slices. But regular cleaning can help to keep the blade sharp, ensuring that it operates at its best.
#3: Helps Extend its Lifespan
When food debris accumulate on the machine, they can cause corrosion and damage to its components. By keeping it clean and dry, you can prevent premature wear and tear. And, of course, that will save you money on costly repairs or replacements in the long run.
#4: Necessary for Compliance
Cleaning a meat slicer is not only essential for food safety and machine performance, but also for complying with food safety regulations. Health and safety inspectors often check commercial kitchens for cleanliness, and a dirty meat slicer could result in a violation and fines.
So, it is not something to wave off. After using a meat slicer, you should take the pain to clean and sanitize it.
How Often Should You Clean and Sanitize a Meat Slicer
According to the FDA Food Code, meat slicers must be cleaned and sanitized every four hours when constantly in use, including all contact surfaces. For faster and more efficient cleaning, light cleaning can be done during shift changes.
However, when talking about how often you should clean your meat slicer, you should how frequently you use the machine.
If you leave food debris in the crevices and machine joints for longer than four hours, it can harden and become tougher to remove.
For deep cleaning, a meat slicer should be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day. This operation usually takes more time and requires more effort. At least, there is a reason it’s called deep cleaning.
It usually involves dismantling the machine and thoroughly washing each part to ensure a more thorough cleaning. That is why it is not feasible to deep clean the machine after every shift. It is something you can do after all the work for the day is done!
How to Clean the Meat Slicer
Now that you know that after using a meat slicer, you should clean and sanitize it, let’s now talk about how to do it right. We don’t want to be vague about this whole idea of cleaning your meat slicer.
So, this section will take you through the step-by-step of how to both light-clean your meat slicer in between shifts or deeply after the day’s work.
Light Cleaning Your Meat Slicer
Remember we said you can do a light cleaning on your meat slicer after every four hours or in-between shift. That can come in handy to help prevent cross contamination and ensure the proper running of the machine. Here are the steps to follow to clean your meat slicer in-between shifts:
- Unplug the meat slicer from the power source before commencing the cleaning. You cannot clean the machine while it’s in operation.
- Use a clean paper towel to remove large food debris from its joints and crevices
- Apply food sanitizer in a cleaning cloth and use it to wash down and wipe all areas of the meat slicer. Make sure you are able to reach some difficult corners when cleaning.
- Deep a clean towel in hot water and use it to rinse all areas of the machine
- Air-dry the unit before using it again.
How to Deep-Clean the Meat Slicer
Deep cleaning is recommended after the day’s work is over. It is more intensive than cleaning between shifts, and so cannot be done in a rush. Follow the steps below to thoroughly clean your meat slicer after use:
- Unplug the meat slicer from power
- Use a clean paper towel to remove large food debris
- Now disassemble the whole unit by following the instruction in the user’s manual
- Deep all dismantled parts into a prepared cleaning solution and thoroughly wash them
- Apply a food sanitizer on the parts and wait for the required time for it to dry off
- For the main machine, get a brush and use it to remove any stuck food debris that may be hiding in the joints and hard-to-reach areas of the machine.
- Now, use a clean, wet towel to clean all the areas and wait for it to dry.
- Now assemble all the parts again and your meat slicer will be ready to use again
Safety Tips for Operating a Meat Slicer
Now, you know that after using a meat slicer, you should clean it, and you also know how to do it properly. As we round up the post, let’s see some safety tips you might need to pay attention to when operating your meat slicer.
- Read the manual thoroughly before using the meat slicer to ensure you understand how to operate it safely.
- Wear protective gear such as cut-resistant gloves and a cut-resistant apron to protect your hands and body.
- Make sure the area around the meat slicer is clean and dry to prevent slips and falls.
- Keep hair and loose clothing secured. You might want to tie back long hair to prevent it from getting caught in the slicer.
- Make sure the meat slicer guard is in place before turning on the machine. This will prevent accidental contact with the blade.
- Use a food holder. Always use a food holder to feed the meat into the slicer. This will prevent your fingers from coming into contact with the blade.
- When cleaning the meat slicer, make sure to use the blade lock to secure the blade in place. This will prevent you from accidentally making contact with the blade.
- Do not force the meat into the slicer. Use a steady and even pressure to slice the meat.
- Keep your hands away from the blade at all times, even when the machine is turned off.
- Always turn off the meat slicer when it is not in use, and unplug it if possible. This will prevent accidental starts.