07 februari 2022
When we talk about meat slicers, whether they are manual or electric, operational safety is often forgotten.
This poses a major risk to the user. After all, it's just a matter of pushing a piece of meat into the slicer and getting nice slices of meat out of it, right? It's more than that. You don't want anything interfering that shouldn't be. Therefore, it is important to follow the safety precautions when using the machines.
What is a meat slicer?
A meat slicer, also known as a slicer, is an instrument used in butcher shops, supermarkets, delis, hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, cafes) and at home to cut meat, sausage, cheese, vegetables and other delicacies. When using a meat slicer, it is important to work safely. The safety tips that we describe below will ensure that the meat is cut better, neater and safer. The safety tips are there to help you and are easy to follow.
Tip 1 – Study the user manual carefully
Carefully read the slicer user manual when purchasing one, or if this is your first time using a slicer. There is nothing more important than reading the instruction manual from start to finish. While there are safety precautions written for all meat slicers, each model is designed slightly differently. It is important to keep your safety and the safety of others.
Tip 2 – Firm surface
Place the slicer on a firm surface. No matter what type of meat slicer, a firm and stable surface is most important to avoid unforeseen accidents. Always place a meat slicer on a stable, vibration-free and flat surface. Make sure that the meat slicer is horizontal, without sliding and tilting. Make sure that there is no danger of the meat slicer sliding or falling.
Tip 3 – Clean working environment
An important obvious tip is that you have cleaned up your workplace before using the meat slicer. A free workspace helps to concentrate while cutting. Additional advantages are that a clean workplace means you can work more efficiently. Work according to the hygiene code HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), a preventive system. You first determine which dangers can arise in the various processes and you start to anticipate them. When you are aware of which processes need to be checked, you prevent a food safety hazard.
Tip 4 – Use tools for safe use
When using a slicer, manual or electric, it is important to exercise caution when using the meat slicer. Always use a meat clamp to push the meat towards the blade. You hold the meat clamp with the right hand by the handle and move it to the left. It ensures that you can work safely and prevent accidents.
Tip 5 – Concentration
Instruct your staff in the use of the meat slicer and point out the safety aspects, repeat this periodically and keep this manual near your meat slicer. The meat slicer may only be operated by properly trained and instructed personnel. Concentrate well on your activity. One of the most important things to remember when slicing meat is your absolute concentration is required while slicing. This way you can easily prevent accidents and you get perfectly sliced meat. Any malfunctions may only be resolved by DEKO Holland service technicians.
Tip 6 – Thickness regulator to the zero position
Only turn the thickness control off the zero position when you want to cut. When you have finished slicing the meat, you must remember to remove the plug from the socket. This way you know for sure that the meat slicer is really off. As an extra precaution, turn the slicer's thickness control to the zero position. You also do this if you want to move or remove the goods on the meat table.
Tip 7 – Be careful during cleaning
Be extremely careful when removing any residue from the meat table. Only do this with the thickness control fully set to zero. Did you know that many meat slicer accidents happen during the cleaning phase? After you have finished cutting meat, first follow tip 6. This way you can be sure that the meat slicer is completely off. Use disposable gloves if necessary to avoid accidental cuts. Carefully separate all parts of the meat slicer that can be disassembled. Only use cleaning and disinfectants that are suitable for the food industry. Do not use any scratchy or aggressive products and do not clean the meat slicer with a steam or high-pressure cleaner!
Tip 8 – Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury
RSI, Repetitive Strain Injury, is a collective term for complaints in the upper back, neck and shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers. Suggestions you can follow to reduce the risk of RSI are: Take regular breaks during your work; Change your (work) attitude regularly; Use an anti-fatigue mat or standing aid to reduce fatigue; Keep your forearm, hand and wrist in a straight position and don't get your fingers too cramped; Choose a correct workplace, as described earlier. Always stand in front of the slicer when using the machine. You may want to grab something that's on the other side of the slicer. If you can't reach it and want to reach over the slicer, turn it off and walk around the slicer to get what you need. Even when you have to bend down to grab something. First turn off the slicer and then bend down to grab what you need. It is important to always have a view of the meat slicer. You can't see the slicer when you bend down to grab something. The same applies to reaching over the machine. You don't want your clothes or body parts to get between the meat slicers. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 62.9 percent of the injuries are a cut or stab wound that occurs in the catering industry.
Tip 9 – Never cut bones
Our meat slicers are only designed for slicing meat and sausage products, ham and bacon, roulades, cheese and fish, cut-resistant fruits and vegetables. Products that you are not allowed to cut with the meat slicers are “non-food” products, frozen products and products with bones. Cutting pieces of meat with bones in them can damage the blade or even the motor, especially on automatic models. Severed pieces of bone or splinters can cause injuries.
Tip 10 – Sharpen the blade
After cleaning the blade, you sharpen the blade. Please note, when sharpening the blade you have an increased risk of cuts. Remember that the grinding dust is removed with a damp cloth. The sharpening stone creates a burr, a small edge. It is advisable to let the burr stone work for a while without sharpening. This way you can be sure that the burr has been removed. If the sharpening device can no longer sharpen and the blade has reached the minimum size permitted by the safety regulations, please contact the DEKO Holland Service. You then have the blade exchanged by the DEKO Holland service technician.
Tip 11 – Personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is more than just washing your hands after lunch or a smoke break. Make sure that employees don't put on company clothing until on location. If employees have already put on the company clothing at home, there is a good chance that all kinds of bacteria will end up on the clothing. Consider, for example, contact with pets. Always keep a clean changing room. It is not customary for kitchen staff to wear jewelry. Most companies prohibit kitchen staff from wearing jewelry. Jewelry is full of bacteria, which increases the chance of contamination. In addition, hairs in the food are very unappetising. Always make sure that hairs are up or stuck. Use a hairnet to ensure that hairs are completely covered. This way you avoid the risk of contamination.