Retailers can look to equipment suppliers for help in waste reduction.

Troy, Ohio-based Hobart Food Equipment Group, for example, will soon introduce its HS6-IPS manual slicer and the HS7-IPS automatic slicer. Both portion scale slicers feature integrated precision scales.

“By allowing operators to accurately slice and instantly weight meats and cheeses, it takes the guesswork out of the process so there is no wasted food form incorrect weighing,” says Carolyn Bilger, senior marketing manager for Hobart.

In addition to purchasing updated equipment, Bilger says retailers can take simple steps to increase efficiency with current machines.

“Keeping slicer blades sharpened on a routine basis, according the manufacturer’s recommendation, is one of the top ways to yield more product and reduce food waste,” she says. “If slicing cheese, choose a slicer with at least a 1/2 hp motor.  This power is needed to ensure slice quality and minimize crumbling and wasting of cheese product.”

In the bakery department, having mixer with a quick release agitator helps keep the bowl-to-agitator ratio more consistent, leading to better incorporation of ingredients, a higher-quality product and less waste for remaking a recipe.

“If a recipe comes out of the mixer wrong, it will come out of the oven wrong,” Bilger says. “Hobart also offers a soft start function on mixers that prevents splash out of ingredients when starting the mixer. This also helps reduce food waste.”