Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The daily

I recently purchased a large grinder, a hobart model 4346 Mixer/grinder.   It can grind 200lbs of meat at a time.  I've been looking for a big meat grinder for a while, and ran across one at a price that I liked.    This particular unit was in the meat shop of a grocery store, and produced all of the locally ground beef that the store sold.  It came with a variety of grinding plates and accessories. 
 The overall condition of the grinder was good; the decals and labels are all good, and the basic grinder itself is constructed of stainless steel; which is a great material for food-handling stuff.  it's easy to clean, looks good when its clean,and you can sanitize it pretty easily.  This grinder in particular was in use up to the point that I purchased it, and honestly, the cleaning that they did wasn't up to the standards that I usually keep.  So I'm going through it now and cleaning the entire thing. 
Its a meat grinder.  Do we really need instructions? 
 The decals are actually required by various state agencies, and if they're not clearly legible you have to replace them.  They're all in good shape here. 

Spend the 7 cents!
 This hatch on the grinder gives you access to the inside to check transmission oil levels and clean, and it secured by 36 small screws.  Now I've got to say that having a hatch that you need to open secured by small screws seems like a bad engineering choice, but what really got me was that when I got this grinder the previous user had removed 33 of the screws, leaving one in the center top, and two at either bottom corner.  I understand why they did that, but how lazy are you?  With the screws out, the gasket that keeps water/cleaning fluids out of the body isn't sealed, and that'st not good.

The other thing that the user did is that they replaced the screws with standard steel screws, not the stainless ones that were originally used.  Standard screws rust over time in contact with the stainless steel, and make unsightly rust stains.  Stainless screws that fit cost me $0.07 (seven cents) each, so I fixed this problem for about $3.50.  Rust stains like this can cause a violation if you're inspected by the health department. 
Clean and shiny
 To remove the rust stains took 10 seconds with a bit of steel wool and comet.  A good rinse and its shiny and beautiful again.  I'm having to basically scrub every inch of this grinder, but with a good, deep clean the next cleaning will be much easier. 

More standard screws
 I have to wonder if they just didn't realize that there are different types of screws, or just didn't care.   It's pretty clear what happens over time.
Another access plate.  I ended up replacing 48 screws as I work my way through.  It's satisfying to see it become shiny and beautiful.


Funder said...

Seems like it might be worth it to use SS thumbscrews, if you can find the right ones.

Eightway said...

Don't use steel wool to clean stainless! It will leave tiny steel particles in the stainless that will very soon rust. Use non-ferrous abrasives like scotch brite. At this point to clean the ferritic bits embedded in the stainless you might need to resort to acids. Easiest is citric acid, but you may have to resort to nitric acid. You can get this at welding supply stores -- it is sold for cleaning up the chromium depleted areas around welds but it is also good for cleaning up contaminated stainless.

ellie k said...

I worked in school food service for 25 years and used many Hobarts. They are real work horses and last foe years. You can still get service and parts foe them and that is a plus in today's world.