The Secret to Deli Meat Food Safety

Thinking about opening a deli or sandwich shop? Owning a food business is a lot of fun, and a great way to make tons of money if you do it right.

But above all else, you need to be an expert in deli meat food safety. It’s important because if you don’t handle your meats properly, you could sicken people. And that would lead to all kinds of problems, from having to go out of business, to who knows what. 

So here’s a quick overview of how to safely operate a deli meat case. Check out these tips and make them work for you!

Keep Meat Products Wrapped for As Long As Possible

Believe it or not, the wrappers on meat products do more than just advertise brands. They have a functional purpose: to keep the meat fresh and stop bacteria from growing. Store the meat in its wrapper for as long as possible to preserve both taste and appearance.

Wear Gloves When Handling Meat

Your fingers have skin oils as well as germs they pick up. To avoid introducing bacteria into your deli meats, wear gloves whenever you handle a meat product or touch the meat display case. And change gloves frequently so you don’t cross-contaminate your products and surfaces.

Rotate Your Freezer and Walk-ins

Use FIFO, or “first-in, first-out”. This will ensure that your meat doesn’t get forgotten and go bad.

Keep Your Meat Display Cases Clean

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your meat case has bacteria, your meats will too. Keep your meat case spotless and hygienic at all times.

Keep Your Case at the Right Temperature

Be sure your case is cold, maybe extra cold. Since the doors stay open on busy days, consider lowering the meat temperature a bit more at that time.

Use Open Packages ASAP 

When you open a package, be sure to use it all before you open a new one. Once opened, your meat product won’t stay fresh for more than a few days, so know the shelf life of your product and sell it as soon as possible.

Avoid Cross-Contamination In Your Meat Case

Be sure to keep your meats separate from cheeses and other products in your meat case, like tuna or ham salad. Use meat case dividers to keep everything in its proper spot.

Do Not Leave Meat Products Sitting Out

Be careful on busy days, not to leave meat products sitting out on counters. Deli meat can spoil if left unrefrigerated for a few minutes, especially if you’ve had it out of the case often throughout the day.

Advise Customers to Refrigerate All Meat Products Right Away

Most customers know to get their meat and other perishables in the fridge as soon as possible. But it wouldn’t hurt to post a sign stating that your deli meats should go in the fridge ASAP. Most foods spoil between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so you could add that info, too. 

When In Doubt, Follow Your Company’s Procedures

If you aren’t sure about the guidelines when it comes to meat safety, follow your company’s guidelines. Your company has a lot at stake, like their safety reputation- so they’ve probably researched what to do and not do for safety. 

Take Charge of Your Deli Meat Food Safety

So there’s a basic list of deli meat food safety guidelines to follow. If you use common sense and make safety a priority, you’ll have no safety issues in your business.

For more tips and advice about foods and culinary, business, and more, check out our other blog articles!