INDIANAPOLIS, October 31, 2007 — While slicers are an important and productive tool in the kitchen, they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Both the user and the consumer of the sliced food items can be affected if proper safety and usage tips are not followed.
1. Purchase a slicer with built-in safety features. Many slicer manufacturers create slicers now that help to eliminate unsafe practices. For example, some slicers will not operate if the knife cover is left open after cleaning. This safety feature helps to decrease the risk of injury during operation.
Most slicers come with sturdy feet help to stabilize the unit. This is important to ensure the slicer does not move while in use. Also, look for antimicrobial protection to help prevent cross contamination among food types.
2. Choose stainless steel over aluminum or other metals. Stainless steel units are more durable and sanitary than other metals. Slicers constructed of aluminum are more likely to scratch, rust or pit on the surfaces that come in contact with foods. Food particles and bacteria can be trapped in these defective areas, thus risking contamination of the food being sliced.
3. Use only the recommended food items. Light duty slicers simply are not made to slice high viscosity foods like cheeses, thick meats and nuts. Many slicers – even heavy duty ones – cannot slice frozen meats. Attempting to do so can damage the cutting knife, ruin the food product or even blow the machine’s motor. Before purchasing a slicer, know which foods can and cannot be used. When in doubt, select one that exceeds expected usage.
4. Clean the slicer only with the appropriate supplies. Never try to clean the slicer and its components with cleaning supplies other than those specified as suitable for slicers. Doing so could result in injury to the operator or damage to the machine. Slicer blade cleaners include sponges that come with cleaning solution already applied. Simply slice the sponge itself to release the cleaning solution. The resulting slices from the sponge can then be used to clean other areas of the slicer. This product both effectively cleans the slicer, and keeps the operator’s hands out of the dangerous cutting area.
5. Follow basic cross contamination rules. Just as poultry and vegetables shouldn’t be cut on the same cutting board, they also shouldn’t be sliced on the same slicer without proper cleaning in between. The same is true when using a slicer for cheeses, deli meats and other items. In high volume kitchens where a wide variety of foods are sliced, consider purchasing more than one slicer. Each slicer should be designated to cut a specific type of product. This method saves time because various items can be sliced without needing to clean the slicer in between.
6. Prep non-perishables only as needed. While one of the main benefits of a slicer is that it can quickly prepare foods for cooking and serving, it can quickly turn in to a dangerous practice. It is often easy to slice more than enough product for any one meal service. The leftover product, if not stored properly, will need to be thrown out. Be sure to plan properly before slicing to reduce the chance of wasted food product.
For information about how to select a slicer for any foodservice operation, visit Central Restaurant Products.
About Central Restaurant Products:
Central Products opened in 1981 near downtown Indianapolis and has grown to become one of the nation’s leading distributors of quality commercial restaurant equipment and supplies. Central’s knowledgeable Product Consultants with industry experience are available during convenient hours–phone lines are open for business Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. They can be reached at 800.222.5107. Shop online; request a nearly 300-page color catalog or sign up for e-mail promotions at centralrestaurant.com