Commercial meat slicers could be a hub for germs and other disease-causing organisms if not cleaned as adequately as required. The FDA has put out a guideline regarding how often the continuously-used commercial meat slicers should be cleaned, in regard to maintaining hygiene. It should be cleaned after every four hours, which literally means that a meat slicer cleaning kit should always be on standby.
Cleaning the meat slicer is so important to a butcher shop, or anyone using it for commercial purposes. So, what exactly do you stand to gain, or why do you need to clean your meat slicer? Let’s find out.
Why Should you Clean Your Meat Slicer?
Looking at the FDA meat slicer cleaning requirements, you may think it’s not that necessary but it really is part of food safety. How? You ask-
Prevents Foodborne Diseases
Recently, the FDA reported a spike in foodborne illnesses in various chain restaurants and hotels across the US. The outbreaks were reported to have been originating from accumulated meat debris on the various hard-to-clean parts of the deli slicer.
Cleaning the meat slicer properly and regularly as required is a huge step in preventing outbreaks and the spread of illnesses. Although cleaning the deli slicer can be a daunting task, it has to be done thoroughly while the slicer itself must be regularly sanitized.
Health inspections, especially the unscheduled ones can be a nightmare to most restaurant owners. This is of course because the restaurants may not adhere to the regulations keenly outside of planned inspection periods. Health inspectors know where to exactly look, one of such places being the meat slicer.
A clean meat slicer portrays the business’s commitment to hygiene, earning the restaurant a positive recommendation from the inspectors, along with passing the inspections.
Get more From the Machine
The well maintained an appliance is, the longer it is likely to serve. Cleaning and sanitizing the meat slicer is part of the much-needed maintenance. During cleaning, you’re likely to notice a developing problem before it becomes an issue. Don’t we all know a stitch in time saves nine?
Regular cleaning will also thwart the accumulation of food debris which may harbor acid-releasing bacteria. The acid released by the bacteria would otherwise initiate corrosion, ultimately shortening the machine’s useful life.
Knowledge is power, and as I’ve just empowered you, it’s also important that I teach you how to apply the knowledge. This is exactly where the meat slicer cleaning kits come in.
What is a Meat Slicer Cleaning kit?
A meat slicer cleaning kit will help you clean the slicer efficiently and effectively while cutting down on time. The kit consists of the different items you need for the job, and in most cases, some extras that make the job more worthwhile.
A typical cleaning kit consists of:
- A pack of meat slicer cleaning pads
- A wand for mounting the scrub pad
- A degreaser solution
- A sanitizing fluid/spray solution
- A synthetic food-grade lubricant
- A pair of cut-resistant gloves
- Cleaning instructions
- A case for storing everything
- A set of cleaning brushes.
Looking at all of the above, you realize that you can still give your slicer a good cleaning job without the entire kit. In cases where budget is a constraint, just a basic meat slicer cleaning pads kit would get the job sufficiently done. You should however have a good detergent and a food-grade disinfectant/lubricant to apply after the job.
The different cleaning kits are available on Amazon, each fitting a certain budget and requirement. A kit can also a set of one type of cleaning aid, for example, a dozen cleaning brushes, a pack of cleaning pads, or even cleaning and sanitizing solutions.
Why You Need a Meat Slicer Cleaning kit
Wondering why you really need a cleaning kit while the ordinary dishwashing tools (don’t think of the dishwasher, it’s a big no for the slicer) can get the job done? This is why you seriously need a cleaning kit dedicated to the meat slicer;
- Cleaning pads allow you to wash the meat slicer sufficiently without disassembling the unit. This is particularly useful if your restaurant has a limited number of deli slicers and interchanging for thorough cleaning tends to create delays.
- Cleaning brushes are not only suitable for meat slicers, but also feeding bottles, drink straws, keyboards, carburetor vents, and other machines with thin hollow sections that are prone to dirt build-up. The cleaning brushes are also of different diameters to fit various-size openings. The protective design employed on these brushes prevents them from scratching the meat slicer, or your hands in case you don’t have protective gloves on.
- Sometimes a cleaning kit may consist of a wand-type cleaning tool and a pack or packs of single-use scrub pads. A scrub pad winds around the cleaning wand, making cleaning of the hard-to-reach parts easier and thorough. With this kit, you can clean your meat slicer without taking it apart, and still keeping your hands and fingers off the slicer blade.
- If your budget can stretch to accommodate a comprehensive cleaning kit, then you’ll have extras like the cut-resistant gloves, separate, cleaning, disinfecting, and lubricating solutions, a caddy to store the items, and a printout of the cleaning instructions.
- The safety gloves are meant to protect your hands from the slicer blade. If the machine is newly-bought, or if the blade has just been sharpened, cut-resistant gloves must be worn whenever cleaning the blade.
- The cleaning and sanitizing solutions guarantee that the machine is both clean and safe for handling food, while the food-grade synthetic lubricant, when applied to the moving parts, reduces friction and corrosion, increasing the slicer’s efficiency and useful life.
- The cleaning instructions are meant to help you utilize the kit in the best possible manner, while the storage case affords you the convenience of having everything in one place, thereby reducing clutter in the kitchen.
Meat slicer cleaning kit pro-tips
Using the different cleaning kits will surely get the job done. There are however a few things you should either do or avoid if you are to get the best from your cleaning kit. The tips below will help you with not only the useful insights on using the kit but also streamlining the cleaning process:
- Avoid using abrasive sponges such as steel wool on the slicer. Abrasive scrubbing pads will not only scratch the appliances but also create depressions and pores that can trap food residue.
- Always wear protective gloves when handling the blade and the cleaning detergents.
- Wear food handling gloves for the entire cleaning process to avoid spreading bacteria.
- Before cleaning the slicer, ensure there are no other dishes in the sink. Dilute the cleaning detergent in hot water to clean the meat slicer’s removable parts.
- Spray the parts of the slicer with a sanitizing fluid/spray after they dry, but before assembling.
- Ensure you use a food-safe oil for lubricating the moving parts.
- After cleaning up the machine, cover it with a slicer cover before storing it for the next day’s use.
if you own a meat slicer, you now know why and how you should clean it. You have also learned how the meat slicer cleaning kit can make your job efficient and effective to catch up with the required frequency of cleaning the appliance. The kits are available on Amazon, across various budgets- you’ll still be covered for as little as $14. Purchase yours today and get to experience all that comes with the kit.
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore