Your commercial meat grinder is a powerful appliance that will make it easier to use fresh meat on your menu. Whether you’re making fresh hamburger patties or stuffed sausage, a meat grinder will help make the most of your time and effort in the kitchen. While a grinder is useful and powerful, it’s important to know how to operate this machine safely. We laid out a list of helpful safety tips to consider before operating your meat grinder.
Safety Tips for Using a Meat Grinder
A meat grinder is designed to grind meat into small pieces for use in recipes like burgers, shepherd’s pie, and more. However, it has a variety of other uses that can help create an even wider array of menu items like a stuffed sausage, ground vegetables, or even cookie dough. Grinders include several parts that can pose a threat to operators as well as consumers, so we’ll discuss how to safely operate and maintain your commercial meat grinder.
Keep Hair and Sleeves Pulled Back
Prevent injury while operating your grinder by making sure sleeves are rolled up tightly to keep from getting stuck in the grinder. It’s also essential to keep hair pulled back during operation to ensure that it doesn’t get caught in the mechanics.
Always Use a Product Pusher
Never use hands or fingers to push along the product in a meat grinder. Use the manufacturer’s recommended product pusher to push the product through the feeder and prevent injury to hands and fingers.
Scrape Meat with a Spatula or Knife
When product feeds out of the grinder into a receiving tray, don’t use hands or fingers to scrape the plate. Only use a handled utensil like a knife, spatula, or turner to assist in scraping off product from the plate. This protects hands from contacting the blades.
Don’t Force Meat Through the Feeder
While it may seem like a grinder will process as quickly as you need, it’s important not to force meat through the feeder. Gently guide meat through the feeder using a product pusher. This will help prevent overload of the blades and plate and will ensure a well-ground product.
Chill Your Machine
A professional secret is that a chilled machine works best! Chill the blade, plate, hopper, and pusher in the freezer for around 20 minutes before use. This will allow your machine to work longer with less wear throughout its lifetime.
Research the Limitations of Your Machine
Grinders that operate efficiently and last a lifetime are ones that haven’t been pushed past their limits. Read your manufacturer’s operator’s manual and other literature to understand the usage limits of your machine. Some grinders are designed to run for multiple hours daily, and some are only designed for light use. Don’t push your machine past what it’s capable of and you will have a safe and efficient grinder.
Thoroughly Clean the Grinder and Its Parts
Any chef knows that working with raw meat can be as dangerous as working with sharp blades. Disassemble and thoroughly clean your meat grinder daily to prevent the growth of bacteria. Some parts may be dishwasher safe, which allows for more thorough sanitation to take place.
Store Your Grinder Unplugged
When finished with operating and cleaning your meat grinder for the day, be sure to turn off and unplug the grinder. Storing your grinder unplugged will help protect operators from accidental start-up.
Only Use a Grinder with Parts Installed
Be sure to only use a meat grinder with the proper parts installed, including the throat and feed trays. Using a grinder without all its parts can cause it to operate inefficiently or even cause damage to the operator or machine.