How to Clean a Meat Slicer

Meat slicers are such a versatile appliance, slicing up all kinds of foods. Used at food stores, the meat slicer is a key element in this type of business operation. Learning how to clean it properly is extremely important in order to lengthen the life of your meat slicer. If you don’t clean your slicer on a regular basis, its parts may start to break, food may build up and bacteria may grow. These microscopic organisms can contaminate and alter food, which, in turn, might make your clients sick. 

Food residue can build up in any part of the meat slicer that is broken, missing or worn away. Make sure to check the ring guard mount, the blade guard and the slicer handle on your meat slicer for any broken or unattached components and replace them as soon as possible. Regularly look at seams, seals and gaskets on the meat slicer to check if anything is worn away, broken or missing. You should never use a defective slicer to avoid food contamination.

Here are some simple pointers to meat slicer maintenance and ways to keep your meat slicer blade sharp.

When to Clean the Meat Slicer

You should clean your slicer after you use it with each type of food: meats, cheeses, or produce. However, wiping it down is not enough: you should clean your appliance thoroughly at least once a day to prevent oils and food residue from building up on the blade or plates. Actually, the FDA recommendation is to clean meat slicers every 4 hours!

Before Starting

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always wear cut-resistant protective gloves, especially when handling the blade. 
  • Never submerge the slicer completely or use steel wool because it can scratch the machine. 

How to Clean a Meat Slicer

  1. Plug the slicer and set thickness to zero. Wipe both sides of the blade with a scrub sponge as the slicer is in motion. Make sure you remove all large food buildups, then turn off and unplug your slicer. 
  2. Make sure the gage plate is in the closed position and the sharpening stone is not in the way. Remove the tray, the cut deflector and the center plate. Wash, rinse and sanitize these components. Let them air dry. 
  3. To clean the blade, use hot water and some drops of dishwasher. Clean both the front and back of the blade, wiping from the center outward. 
  4. Wipe down the outside and all remaining parts of the slicer using a clean cloth and hot water. 
  5. Sanitize the machine with sanitizing spray. Let it air dry. 
  6. Lubricate the slide rods with a lubricant. 
  7. Once the slicer is dry, replace the product tray and face plate.

Blade Maintenance

  • Have your machine serviced periodically and follow the manufacturer recommendations.
  • Make sure to check your machine for any broken components or food buildup. Frequently clean your meat slicer blade and sharpen it with a sharpening stone for meat slicers. 
  • Never sharpen a dirty blade and make sure to clean your blade after sharpening.

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