When operating your kitchen or running your own restaurant, a meat slicer plays a very useful role in food processing, right?
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So, it is also very important to ensure its proper cleaning after use. Otherwise, food contamination and bacterial growth can deteriorate the overall quality of your prepared food.
So, if you clean the meat slicer consistently, the chance of microorganism growth will not occur.
Many of us do not know the meat slicer cleaning process properly. So, I prepared this guideline to help them out. I try to include all the ins and outs in this article to give you an explicit idea.
Before You Start Cleaning You Must Keep In Mind These Things
There are a few important facts that you should bear in your mind before you start your cleaning process. So, let’s check it out –
- You should not put the meat slicer in the dish sink and never go for the spray or pressure washer to clean your slicer. Also, you should not use steel wool as it can scratch your machine.
- Before you start to clean it, read and follow the manufacturer’s directions and instructions.
- As you are dealing with sharp blades, safety comes first. You should wear protective gloves to maintain your safety. Cut-resistant or cut-proof metal gloves are the best option. A cut-resistant glove and food handling glove will protect not only from the accidental cut but also from spreading germs.
- Use a separate bucket for washing and rinsing. Also, keep the sanitizer spray with you. You should use mild detergent and hot water for the wash bucket.
- Always remember you should not completely submerge your meat slicer. You can also take help from the manual.
How To Light Clean A Meat Slicer Easily And Safely
Here, I will discuss the light and deep slicer cleaning process. Besides, I will give details on how to clean a commercial meat slicer.
It is wise to collect the following equipment before you start to clean your clean slicer:
- Hot water
- Small brush
- Food-grade cleaner
- Clean cloth or towel
Light cleaning can be conducted after every time you use the meat slicer. Depending on the volume of usage, it should be done once per day at least.
But if you use the slicer more than four hours per day, then you need to do this multiple times. Light cleaning prevents the build-up of food residues or juices.
Follow the instructions for light cleaning:
- First off, you need to unplug the machine. Then set the blade to zero.
- Once you set the blade to zero, now with a clean towel or cloth, you need to wipe away the food particles.
- Use another clean cloth, hot water, and food-grade cleaner to wipe all the areas including the blade, product pusher, and catcher areas. You need to pay attention to cleaning every piece of the machine.
- After that, you need a new towel to rinse the areas with warm water. Before you start to use the machine, you have to air dry it.
Warnings: You should not use any abrasive sponges or steel wool for cleaning the machine.
How To Deep Clean A Meat Slicer (Every Parts)
It is one of the effective methods to prevent foodborne diseases. You should not always depend on light cleaning.
It is also very essential to conduct deep or full cleaning. It prevents the build-up of food residue and bacterial growth. In this cleaning process, all the cleaning parts have been cleaned thoroughly.
Parts Cleaning Process
Step – 1: To start the cleaning process, unplug the meat slicer and set the blade thickness to zero.
Step – 2: Just like the light cleaning process, clean all the food particles using a towel or cloth.
Step – 3: Now, you need to disassemble your machine. Remove the blade, carriage, product catcher, and pusher. In case your meat slicer has a knife removal tool, then it is better to follow the manual.
Step – 4: Then prepare the dish sink with detergent and hot water and put all the parts into it. If you have any confusion, you can simply go through the owner’s manual.
Step – 5: Clean all these parts, rinse them, and apply sanitizer spray.
Step – 6: After washing, let them air dry before using.
Main Unit Cleaning Process
Step – 1: The main unit includes trays, knobs, handles, seams, and gaskets. You can use a brush to clean the main unit. Most of the time, these pieces are overlooked and become an ideal place for bacterial growth. So, you need to use warm water and food-grade cleaner to clean these pieces.
Step – 2: To clean the leftover residue, use a clean cloth and put it between the blade and blade guard. Then again, use a wet cloth and clean the entire unit.
Step – 3: Before using the spray sanitizer, you should go through the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Step – 4: Before reassembling, you need to air-dry the entire unit fully.
Also Read: How To Sharpen Ceramic Knives (6 Effective Methods)
How to Clean a Commercial Meat Slicer
Follow the below direction to clean a commercial meat slicer –
- Unplug your machine and set the blade to zero. Wipe away the food particles with a paper towel or cloth.
- Then disassemble the machine and remove all parts (blade, guard, and food chute).
- Clean, rinse, sanitize all these parts and keep them air dry.
- Now, you can use a small brush and scrub the handle, knob, screw areas.
- Use a towel or cloth to remove all the food residue from the blade and blade guard.
- If your meat slicer includes a center hole, you can clean the hole using a brush.
- After cleaning, rinsing, and spraying sanitizer, allow them to air dry.
- Then reassemble the machine and cover it to keep the machine clean.
There are many meat slicer covers available in the store to buy one based on your preference and budget. After applying sanitizer spray, you can lubricate all the non-food touching portions to make it easy to operate.
Also Read: 5 Best Ways To Sharpen Kitchen Knives At Home
Sanitize Your Meat Slicer Properly – Sanitizing Process
It is very important to sanitize the meat slicer properly. Before reassembling your machine, you need to use the sanitizer spray after you have cleaned the slicer.
Things You Need:
- Wash bucket
- Rinse bucket
- Dish detergent
- Sanitizing bucket
Step – 1: Make a soapy solution with dish detergent and hot water with a ratio of 1:1. Also, keep your wash, rinse, and sanitizing bucket ready.
Step – 2: If you are running out of time or want a quick result, then it is better to use a degreaser spray. Many degreaser sprays are available in the store. Remember, you should fill the rinse bucket with detergent-free, warm, clear water.
Step – 3: Pour hot water and bleach in the sanitizing bucket. But always remember, you need to mix all the proportions according to the manufacturer’s guide.
Why You Should Clean And Sanitize Your Meat Slicer
However, it may seem like an unnecessary chore. But remember, proper cleaning of your meat slicer is very important for hygiene.
If you do not clean the slicer, you will welcome the bacteria for contamination and decrease its useful life.
So, it is very important to clean your slicer regularly to ensure food safety.
- Proper Cleaning Prevents Foodborne Diseases
If you do not clean the slicer regularly, food particles can build up inside the machine and will cause bacterial growth. This bacteria will definitely hamper the food quality and also contaminate the foods that lead to many foodborne illnesses.
Besides, your meat slicer will transfer the taste or smell of food residue onto the other food items you slice later. It will also change the authentic taste and flavor of the food items.
- Proper Cleaning Extends Meat Slicer’s Life
Well, maintenance will automatically enhance any equipment’s usage life. And the same goes for your meat slicer. It is essential to clean and sanitize properly to ensure its useful lifespan.
If you do not clean the slicer and leave it overnight, causing a build-up of food particles. Once this food residue has settled, it will become very stiff and require more time to clean.
With regular cleaning, you can prevent bacterial growth, food contamination and also increase your meat slicer’s life.
What Is An Acceptable Sanitizer To Use After Cleaning A Meat Slicer
The sanitizer is used to clean the slicer, but you should apply the sanitizer spray before you reassemble it. Using sanitizer helps to reduce bacterial growth and also prevent contamination caused by bacteria.
When applying sanitizer, you need to remember that the slicer has to become dried after using the sanitizer. While choosing a food sanitizer spray, you should choose the sanitizer with food-grade formulations, including chlorine and iodine, mixed with water.
Which Areas Should You Pay More Attention While Cleaning
You should pay more attention and carefully monitor the blade guard, ring guard, handle areas, check carefully if these areas have any cracks or not.
If you observe any unpleasant thing, then replace the parts. Food residues can build up at blade guards and also under the handle. So, you should become more careful when you remove the food particles because they can cause dangerous contamination.
You also need to regularly examine the seal, seam, and gasket area to check whether there is any crack or crevices created. As it will allow bacteria growth and cause foodborne illness. You should not use missing, defective, or broken parts as they may cause the accident.
So, remove or replace all the defective parts to prevent dangerous bacterial growth.
How Often Should A Meat Slicer Be Cleaned
Ideally, it is better to clean the slicer machine after each use. Regular cleaning helps to keep the blade neat and clean.
If you do not clean the machine, sometimes bone or food particles may be lodged deeply in the machine, which may cause accidental cuts.
You should conduct a full cleaning at the end of each day. Besides, regular maintenance should be performed every month to maintain and preserve the meat slicer’s lifespan.
Tips For Maintaining Your Meat Slicer After Cleaning
Besides, cleaning is also essential to ensure proper maintenance of your meat slicer. So, now I will provide some maintenance tips to get its top-notch performance.
- Blade Sharpening
The blades have been considered the most important part of the meat slicer. So it is essential to keep the meat slicer blades sharp besides cleaning.
Almost all the manufacturing companies provide specific guidelines about sharpening the blades. But you will need a sharpening stone to conduct this.
A wide range of sharpening stones are now available in the shop. Always remember after sharpening the blades, again, you need to clean and disinfect it properly.
- Need Proper Storage
If you want to use your meat slicer for a longer time, you must store it properly. You can use a slicer cover to give extra protection to your slicer.
It also protects the slicer from rust and dust. But remember, you should always clean and disinfect the machine before using it. If any of the parts break down or worn out, you can replace them.
Benefits Of Having A Clean Meat Slicer
A clean meat slicer not only brings benefits to your kitchen but also to your restaurant. And some of the benefits are:
- It helps you to pass the health inspection easily
If you want to run a successful restaurant business, it will become essential to pass the health inspection. It is a major requirement to cook or serve food.
Besides, it is also an important step of the government to ensure public health and safety. As many food particles, juices, residues, or bones can deeply lodge in the meat slicer.
So it is necessary to do proper cleaning of the meat slicer regularly.
- It helps to prevent food contamination
Your meat slicer can be a favorable place for bacterial growth if you do not clean it properly. Bacteria can cause contamination, transfer from the food particles to the other parts and create foodborne illness.
It is not a rare phenomenon; it can happen on a regular basis. So, to prevent this unpleasant situation, it is better to clean the machine regularly.
- Helps to promote your business
If you want to promote your food business on social media, then nothing can beat the importance of taking good pictures. It also has become a trend nowadays. A lot of food photographers also work in this sector to present your food attractively.
These pictures represent not only the food items but also the well-maintained equipment. So, it brings the spotlight on your kitchen appliances.
Your proper shiny cleaned meat slicer also enhances the elegance of your kitchen. It helps to promote your business and build up a brand reputation.
- Extends its usage life
A well-maintained and properly cleaned meat slicer will provide you service for a longer period. The usage life of your slicer depends on how you will treat and maintain it.