Delis are under attack. A 2021 study found that COVID-19 viral spores can live on deli meat and cheese for up to 21 days.
This finding sounds scary, but you can defeat lot's of viruses if you spend time cleaning your meat slicer. However, you have to do a lot more than scrub the blade down with hot water.
- What tools do you need for effective cleaning?
- When should you clean your professional meat slicer?
- How should you clean your blade, so you don't get cut?
Get these questions answered, and keep your customers safe through simple steps. Here is your quick guide.
Get Tools for Cleaning
It would be best to have several different tools to clean a meat slicer properly.
- A bottle of mild detergent
- Liquid sanitizer
- Microfiber cloths
- Cut-resistant gloves
- Stainless Steel Cleaner (if it's Stainless Steel)
The sanitizer should have anti-bacterial ingredients so you can eliminate the threat of foodborne pathogens.
It would be best to buy a package of microfiber cloths that do not use steel wool. They should not have lint on them, so you don't scratch or poke holes in your meat slicer. You can use paper towels, especially if you want to clean a spill or remove debris from your unit.
Whenever you handle your deli slicer blade, you should have a pair of cut-resistant gloves on. You should be able to grip the slicer well, but you should not scratch the slicer in any way.
If you have a stainless steel slicer, you should read our guide to clean stainless steel equipment. Scrub with grains to avoid scratching your slicer.
Perform a Light Clean
You should perform a light clean after every time you use your slicer. You should also do so if you change products, and of course, if you are cutting cooked meat after you cut raw meat.
Unplug your machine and turn all of your settings down. Set your blade at zero and make sure it points away from you. Even if you aren't touching the edge directly, you should wear cut-resistant gloves to clean surfaces near the blade.
You should first remove large food pieces. You can pick them up with a paper towel, or you can brush them off with a cloth. Try to collect them in a towel, so you don't have to sweep the floor at the end of the day.
After removing everything, you should grab a new cloth. Put some hot water in a spray bottle and spray all surfaces of the cleaner with it. You can then use the microfiber cloth to wipe the surfaces down.
Next, use your sanitizer to disinfectant the blade, product pusher, and product catcher. Get into the nooks and crannies using your fingertips.
After you've applied the disinfectant, you should rinse the cleaner with hot water again, using a new towel. Let the unit air dry for as long as possible.
Deep Clean the Meat Slicer
Deep clean your slicer at the end of every workday. It does not matter what you used your slicer for. The CDC has tracked three separate outbreaks of Listeria from ham, salami, and cheese in the last five years.
Unplug your slicer and set the blade to zero before starting. You should then remove any food particles you can see, including ones in the nooks of your slicer.
You should mix hot water with detergent in a sink near your slicer. Once you do this, you should disassemble your slicer part by part. Place the elements in the sink, fully submerging them under the water.
Wipe all the parts using a microfiber cloth. Ensure you cover all surfaces and give the parts a few minutes to air dry.
After they have dried off, you can rinse them with your sanitizing spray. Allow your sanitizer to sit on your parts and kill the bacteria on them.
Clean Your Main Unit
Many delis focus on the blade and product tray, neglecting the central unit. Pathogens can grow on your knobs and receiving tray and spread to the food you cut.
You can follow the same steps that you take with your deep clean. You should use a brush to remove pieces of debris in your screws and controls. Dip your brush in hot water and anti-bacterial cleaner and scrub your unit gently.
You should then spray your entire unit with your sanitizer. Read the operating manual before doing this to know what type of spray you should use.
Be Careful With the Meat Slicer Blade
You must clean the meat slicer blade yet avoid cutting yourself. Wearing cut-resistant gloves and pointing the edge away from yourself will prevent most injuries.
You can prevent further injuries by scrubbing your blade with gentle and slow motions. Use a brush for cleaning instead of a towel, as the blade can cut through the towel.
When your blade is air drying, place it in a separate compartment with the tip pointing down. If it seems dirty, give it another scrub and spray more sanitizer on it.
Lubricate Slide Rods
After you have deep cleaned and sanitized your slicer, you should lubricate the slide rods and gears. This will help them run smoothly and prevent them from becoming clogged.
You can use food-grade Equipment Oil like this one to lubricate your slicer. Apply it using a cloth, making sure to cover the entire surface. Wipe off any excess and let the slicer air dry.
Kill Germs on Your Meat Slicer
You must know how and when to clean a meat slicer. You should have detergent, sanitizer, and microfiber cloths for cleaning.
You should perform a light clean after you use your meat cutter. Rinse it with hot water and a paper towel.
But you must do a deep clean daily. Immerse each part of your unit in detergent and hot water, then spray each piece with sanitizer. Don't rush with your blade, or you risk cutting yourself.
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