Meat Slicer design to help reduce the risk of illness from food borne pathogens
Considering a 2015 study by Purdue University suggests standard cleaning procedures don’t sufficiently eliminate the potentially deadly bacteria Listeria. Researchers found a disturbing 9.5% of the samples taken from retail delis contaminated with Listeria. Samples were from floors, drains, all contact points.
Deli meats have long been associated with Listeria. While it is estimated to infect about 1600 people a year, it is fatal to 260 of them, making it the deadliest of food borne pathogens. The elderly, pregnant women, young children, immune compromised are most susceptible.
Additionally there are about 50,000 reported cases / year of illness caused by Salmonella. The CDC estimates there are a staggering 2 – 4 million cases of Salmonellae / year in the USA when unreported cases are factored in. Of 1000 people infected, 220 will require hospitalization and 8 will die.
In recent years there have been two prominent Salmonella outbreaks linked to a deli slicer. In one case, the bacteria thrived behind a thumb guard and contaminated the sliced product. This was a design deficiency that relied on a silicone seal that failed with routine cleaning.
A 2010 outbreak in Rhode Island was ultimately traced back to a slicer. At some point, contaminated tomatoes were prepared in the machine leaving behind debris in hard to clean areas. According to the RI Department of Health, of all infections connected to deli meats, as much as 80% have come from meats sliced at retail groceries.
Meat Slicer Design – Key Points
Also it is reasonable to anticipate food debris collecting on the slicer. The FDA requires the slicers to be cleaned every 4 hours. Designing a slicer that has no gaps, recesses, seams, potential harborage points, silicone seals, is essential to protect the consumer as well as the owner. NSF ANSI 8 is a minimum standard. Bizerba exceeds the minimum, providing the highest hygiene protection available in the world.
Construction details of the slicer are the first line of defence against illness from food borne pathogens.
Meat Slicer Design – Solutions
Furthermore we use a one piece extruded carriage plate. The thumb guard is attached by stir friction welding. This eliminates the possibility of porosity. This is an expensive process but most effective. Other manufacturers bolt the thumb guard to the carriage creating a seam. Cross contamination risk is enhanced.The Bizerba slice thickness knob is flush mounted with the additional protection of a UL 157 seal. The other manufacturers recess their knob into the housing creating a hard too clean cavity. The slice thickness knob is touched hundreds of times a day. Cross contamination is inevitable.
Also the gauge plate is in constant contact with the product. Bizerba uses a one piece extruded aluminium gauge plate for optimal protection. Bolt-on, 2 piece assemblies have inherent contamination risks both immediate and long term. Bizerba completely seals the blade to the machine housing with a UL 157 seal. No gaps in this high contact area.
Finally for more information on Meat slicer design and the options available from Bizerba. Visit the Main Site or Contact us today.