More and more restaurants are using their own meat grinders to prepare original and high-quality items made from ground meats. Chefs and kitchen staff who use or handle meat grinders need training in how to safely clean and sanitize this equipment. Here are recommendations on how to clean a commercial meat grinder.
Run Some Bread Through It
Bread will absorb some of the grease and small bits of residue from the parts of the grinder. Run a loaf of leftover bread you can no longer serve through the grinder to give it a sweep. This won’t clean the meat grinder completely, but it will give you a start on removing some of the fatty residue that may have collected on the parts.
Disconnect and Disassemble
Unplug the machine. Various brands of meat grinders may have different configurations or parts, but most will have the same basic setup, with a feeder tube, pusher, screw, plate, and pan. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, carefully disassemble the parts. Use extreme caution when handling the blade—it’s made to cut meat easily, and that means it will cut fingers and hands easily too.
Making sure you know or can see the whereabouts of the blade at all times, place all the disassembled parts, including the blade, in a bucket or deep pan with warm, soapy water. Consider also using a safe sanitizer recommended for cleaning parts that contact food directly. Let the parts soak for 15 minutes or so. Then carefully wash each part with a sponge or gentle brush that won’t scratch or damage the parts. Rinse all the parts thoroughly. Pat the parts dry with a clean cloth, then let them air-dry thoroughly.
Wipe Down the Exterior of the Machine
While the parts are air-drying, carefully wipe the exterior of the machine with sanitizing cloths. Do not attempt to take any of the motorized components apart; they should be sealed, and they have their own lubrication inside them already. Stick to exterior surfaces and wipe off any stray residue. Be careful, though, not to get any electrical parts wet or even damp.
Lubricate With Food-Grade Mineral Oil and Reassemble
Odds are you’ll be using your grinder again very soon, so you won’t store it away. When all the parts are completely dry, use a clean spray bottle to apply food-grade mineral oil as both a lubricant and a means of preventing corrosion.
Only trained and authorized technicians should service the sealed or motorized parts of your grinder. Have them conduct annual maintenance (or maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule) to keep your grinder running smoothly.
Follow the recommendations and requirements of your local health department for sanitizing parts and utensils that contact food. For information about how to clean your commercial meat grinder, contact Pro Restaurant Equipment or the manufacturer and ask what kinds of soap or cleaners to use on the parts. If you think it’s time to replace your machine, we have commercial meat grinders for sale right here on our website.