The Worst Meats and Cheeses to Cut, According to Deli Workers

The deli case at your local grocery store is more than a parade of meats and cheese—it’s also a veritable rogue’s gallery. Behind the curved glass, there are certain items that, though incredibly tasty, are the bane of those who have to cut them.

For me, it was always the messy ones. There are plenty of food service regulations when it comes to periodic cleaning of the equipment, and maintaining a sanitary work area is vital. But if a single, half-pound order requires a near-total breakdown of the slicer (I’m looking at you, Buffalo Chicken Breast), the meat becomes villainous in itself.

Throughout my time working at the deli, I most enjoyed my colleagues and I swapping horror stories as a method of collective coping. Over the last two weeks, I asked workers at multiple grocers a simple question: Price and flavor aside, which meats and cheeses were the most annoying to work with?

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