Commercial slicers are a necessity for commercial kitchens. With them, however, come certain risks. While most slicers have safety features built-in, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, employees, and the slicer itself.

Know Your Slicer

In our buying guide, we discussed entry-level, mid-tier, premium, and specialty slicers. There are certain features that all entry-level, mid-tier, and premium slicers have in common. They have food chutes, food chute release knobs, slice thickness dials, end weight side rods, warning labels, receiving areas, control buttons, and rubber feet. For an example of what this looks like, see Globe’s diagram below:

Globe Slicer Diagram

(Image via Globe Food Equipment Co.)

Premium slicers have more safety features as observed by Globe’s S-Series slicer diagram:

Globe S-Slicer Diagram

(Image via Globe Food Equipment Co.)

Note that it comes with a fluted carriage, extra space under the knife, carriage tilt interlock, and extended thumb guard. These features make a slicer easier to clean and safer for the operator.

Other brands have similar features on their premium models. Please see your particular models’ instruction manual for a better understanding of your slicer – its parts, build, and safety features.

Practice OSHA Regulations

OSHA Regulations say slicers and their operators must have:

  1. Machine Guarding
  2. Hand Protection
  3. Control of Hazardous Energy

What does this mean? Machine guards are features that cover the blade to protect customers both while the slicer is and isn’t in operation. Hand protection is cut-resistant gloves. All employees operating the machine must put them on before use of the slicer. Control of Hazardous Energy covers several safety practices such as fully retractable blades when the slicer is not in use and properly sized plungers so employees won’t be sticking their hands near the blade or slicing area.

These principles must be taught to employees. The benefits of training are that it gives employees the power to protect themselves and prevents lawsuits against employers. Operators will know the risks and employers will know what to provide employees (such as cut-resistant gloves or plungers) to keep employees safe.

Maintain the Slicer

To protect your slicer, it should be maintained properly. This includes daily cleaning and care. To clean it safely, follow the instructions in your slicers’ manual and use a commercial sanitizing concentrate with water.

To sharpen the blade:

  • Press and hold the rear sharpening button on the sharpening assembly.
  • Hold it down for a minute or less. It shouldn’t be sharpened any more than that.
  • Then switch to the front finishing button on the sharpener to smooth the edges and remove burrs.
  • Once this is accomplished, you can turn the machine off, so the blade is still.
  • Reset the blade to its original position and secure it in place.
  • After sharpening is complete, you may need to re-clean the unit with sanitizing concentrate to safely remove any knife residue.

To keep moving parts moving and working at their best, it will need to be lubricated periodically. It can be lubricated with commercial, food-grade lubricant.

An important note is that when cleaning and lubricating the machine, always start at the center of the blade and move outwards. While wiping the knife, you never want to wipe toward the blade. This is a safety hazard.

Commercial slicers can often result in amputations if not used correctly. Please follow these safety instructions to help prevent injury. See OSHA’s other regulations and tips here.

If you have any questions or need a new slicer, please contact us.

Call: 888.778.4815