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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Keep Commercial Deli Slicers Safe

This document is available as a poster in PDF (672 KB) for printing.

This document is also available en Español (Spanish).

  

Did You Know...?
Deli slicers commonly used in retail and foodservice establishments to slice meats, cheeses and produce may become difficult or impossible to properly clean and sanitize after a period of use. Failure to adequately clean and sanitize all surfaces of a deli slicer can contaminate food and cause illnesses or death.

  • Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness have been associated with the build up of food soils and disease-causing microorganisms on areas of deli slicers that are difficult to clean and sanitize.
  • Outbreaks of serious illness and hospitalizations have resulted.
  • Many seams between the connected parts and components of a typical delislicer are sealed with sealants and gaskets.   

These seams can become worn, degraded or removed as a result of the heavy use and cleaning process that deli slicers undergo.  As these seals and gaskets become degraded, spaces can be created that can trap debris and moisture, which can lead to areas that may not be able to be adequately cleaned and sanitized under normal cleaning conditions.

 

Deli Slicer Problem Areas That Are Hard To Clean
Carefully monitor these areas for any cracks, broken, missing or unattached parts:

  • Ring Guard Mount: Food soil accumulation at the ring guard mount.
  • Blade Guard: Food soil accumulation on the inside of the blade guard at the white plastic piece.
  • Slicer Handle: Surfaces under the slicer handle can accumulate food soil and debris and require monitoring to prevent build-up.

 

What YOU Can Do
CLEAN and SANITIZE deli slicers per manufacturer’s instructions at least once every four hours in order to prevent the growth of disease-causing bacteria.

  • Keep the instructions posted near the slicer location and follow them closely.
  • Simply wiping down a slicer to remove visible debris is not a substitute for thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the equipment. 

Routinely examine the condition of seams, seals and gaskets to confirm integrity of these seals while the slicer is assembled and before breaking down for cleaning and sanitizing.

  • Look in hard-to-reach areas for food and liquid accumulations. 

If a seal or gasket is broken, missing, unattached, defective or otherwise not performing its function, remove the slicer from service immediately and contact the slicer manufacturer for repair or replacement.

  • All repairs should be performed by the manufacturer’s authorized service representative or using repair kits available from or provided by the original manufacturer.

Have the slicer professionally serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

  • Ensure that the servicing includes examination of all seams and the routine replacement of seals and gaskets.
  • Proper servicing may require that components be removed and then reattached with the proper reapplication of sealants or gaskets.

 

 

For additional copies and more information visit: New FDA Materials on Sanitation Concerns with Commercial Deli Slicers.