Commercial slicers are an important component of many commercial kitchens. However, the United States Department of Labor considers these machines hazardous. Only employees over the age of 18 may operate slicers and other hazardous equipment. Look below for specific safety features and suggestions to safely operate a commercial meat slicer:
Standard Safety Features of Commercial Slicers
- Permanent blade edgeguards help protect operators against accidental cuts.
- Automatic blade sharpeners eliminate manual sharpening.
- Knife guards prevent fingers from contacting blade.
- Table lockout mechanism appears on some slicers and is useful when the knife guard is removed for cleaning. The table covers the knife’s edge, protecting the operator.
- Rubber feet on many models keep slicers from moving while in operation.
- Antibacterial protection on knobs and handles improve food safety by detering bacterial growth.
- Permanently mounted knife ring guard protects operator from knife’s sharp edge.
- Power indicator light shows when knife is rotating.
- “No voltage release” system prevents accidental activation of slicer due to power interruption.
Suggestions for Safe Operation of Commercial Slicers
- Always read all manufacturer’s directions and safety precautions listed in the operations manual before operating any piece of commercial equipment.
- Dedicate full attention to slicing task and avoid distractions.
- Wear cut resistant gloves when operating or cleaning.
- Secure the meat properly so it does not slip.
- Unplug, turn off and set blade adjustment to zero before cleaning. This makes sure that the knife edge is not exposed.
- Keep work area clean and free of clutter.
- Always use tampers or pushers to push food into place.
- Never use hands to feed meat into the slicer.
- Never reach across the blade for any reason.
- Use locking features to keep blade in place when not in operation.