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New FDA Materials on Sanitation Concerns with Commercial Deli Slicers

Constituent Update

February 9, 2011

As part of an initiative to improve food safety practices in retail and foodservice establishments, FDA has developed a poster and flyer designed to raise awareness of sanitation concerns with commercial deli slicers commonly used to slice meats, cheeses and produce in food stores, delis, restaurants and other foodservice establishments:

  • The poster, targeted to operators of food establishments and their front line food employees, is suitable for posting near deli slicers, and explains the importance of proper slicer maintenance and highlights examples of hard-to-clean problem areas on deli slicers.
  • The flyer, targeted to food safety professionals, offers tips to ensure deli slicers are being properly cleaned and maintained and when slicers should be removed from service until repaired or replaced

If deli slicers are not properly cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis, food soils and disease-causing microorganisms can accumulate on slicer surfaces and result in food contamination.  These machines have a long life in retail and foodservice establishments, and over time they may become difficult or impossible to properly clean and sanitize.  Routine professional maintenance of all deli slicers is critical to preventing these machines from becoming a significant food safety hazard.  

Outbreaks of foodborne illness resulting in serious illnesses and hospitalizations have been linked to food that has become contaminated during contact with deli slicers. FDA continues to work closely with state and local governments and operators of restaurants, grocery stores and other food establishments to prevent illness from contaminated food.  FDA is working with stakeholders to develop enhanced minimum standards for the design and construction of new deli slicers and to ensure that proper cleaning and maintenance instructions are provided with each machine.

FDA encourages consumers to ask store and restaurant management about the procedures they follow to ensure their deli slicers are properly cleaned and maintained.   

The new poster and flyer are available in both English and Spanish at no charge and can be ordered online.

For orders greater than 500, contact Shirley Turpin at

The documents can also be downloaded from the web.


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