How to lubricate this important piece of equipment
Like any other piece of equipment with moving parts, meat slicers need to be lubricated in order to ensure safety, optimum performance, and longevity. Unlike other kinds of equipment, however, they must be lubricated with food-grade oil. This post is about how to choose the best oil for lubrication of a meat slicer.
The main points of this post are:
- DO choose a food-grade lubricant with a rating of H1.
- DO NOT use mineral oil or vegetable oil to lubricate your meat slicer.
- INTERFLON FOOD LUBE is an H1-rated food-grade lubricant with MicPol®, ideal for lubrication of meat slicers.
Interflon is here to make the process of choosing a food-safe lubricating oil very easy. Interflon Food Lube with MicPol® is a long-lasting, water- and particle-repelling, food-safe lubricant ideal for use on all kinds of food processing equipment. It’s so safe it’s even certified kosher and halal. It comes in an easy-to-use aerosol can, and it’s available on Amazon.
What makes an oil or grease food-grade or food-safe? The answer is in the ingredients. Lubricants that are used on food processing equipment need to be safe enough that if a small amount happens to make contact with the food, it won’t cause any harm to humans. Most lubricants are not food-safe, so you need to ensure you’re choosing one that is.
But remember there are different levels of food-safe lubes, and you need to make sure you’ve got the right kind. One of the most common is NSF H1, which is the safest form. This is the kind of lubricant you should be using on machines like meat slicers, dough mixers, packaging machines, and other equipment that is going to be coming into close contact with food. Avoid H2, H3, and other classifications for lubricating this kind of equipment, as they are not considered safe for incidental consumption.
Don’t use mineral or vegetable oil… ever!
Some equipment owners are tempted to use the cheapest food-grade oil they can get away with, because they think they’re saving money. In many cases, that means they buy mineral oil. Mineral oil is cheap, but it’s a bad choice as a lubricant for many reasons:
- It’s typically very drippy and runny, which creates a mess and possibly an unsafe work environment.
- It collects particles like dirt or even tiny pieces of food, because it remains wet and sticky after application, and this will in turn create an abrasive paste that will actually hasten the wear on your equipment.
- It will also end up costing more money in the long run, because you will need to relubricate often.
Don’t just calculate the cost of the oil! Remember that your time and the time of your employees is worth money, too. The more time you have to spend dealing with a piece of equipment, the more it’s costing you.
Some people will also try to use vegetable oil. This is not a good idea either, because even though vegetable oil is considered safe for human consumption, it can also grow bacteria, which will contaminate your product and, in the very worst-case scenarios, cause harm or death. Avoid using vegetable oil as a lubricant at all costs.
In order to properly disassemble and lubricate your meat slicer, refer to the manual that came with it. There are also a number of excellent videos available online. Parts requiring lubrication include the rods along which the carriage slides, the shafts the plate moves along, hand-tightened bolts, adjustment knobs, and anything else that moves or needs to be taken apart for cleaning. You can safely use Interflon Food Lube on all of these components. Interflon Food Lube is also dielectric, so it will even protect electrical connections. It’s very easy to apply from the aerosol can and the provided straw. You can just give your slicer a few quick squirts and get on with making your customers happy.
Other advantages to using Interflon Food Lube are:
- It lasts far longer than typical lubricants, often up to ten times as long
- It has excellent penetrating and creeping action, so that it will coat every tiny crack and crevice on the surface you’re applying it to
- It dries to a clear, solid film that will repel water and particles
- It provides the lowest possible coefficient of friction.
With Interflon Food Lube, you’ll need to lubricate far less often, and you’ll use much less lubricant when you do.
Please note that even though Interflon Food Lube is food-safe, it should not be applied to areas that are going to come into direct contact with food, such as the blade.