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1. (WO2018128751) FOOD PRODUCT SLICING APPARATUS INCLUDING A PIVOTAL GATE ASSOCIATED WITH A FOOD PRODUCT TRAY
Nota: Texto obtenido mediante procedimiento automático de reconocimiento óptico de caracteres.
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CLAIMS:

1. A food product tray for a slicing apparatus, the food product tray comprising:

a pan including a top surface, a front end and a rear end;

at least one side member extending upward from the pan; and

a gate positioned near the front end of the pan, wherein the gate is moveable between a blocking position, in which a top edge of the gate is positioned above the top surface of the pan, and a non-blocking position, in which the top edge of the gate is either at or below the top surface of the pan, and wherein, during movement of the gate from the blocking position to the non-blocking position, the gate rotates relative to the front end of the pan about an axis displaced from the gate.

2. The food product tray of claim 1, wherein the gate rotates away and downward from the front end of the pan when the gate moves from the blocking position to the non-blocking position.

3. The food product tray of claim 2, wherein the entire gate rotates away and downward from the front end of the pan.

4. The food product tray of claim 2, wherein, with the gate in the blocking position, the gate is spaced-apart from the front end of the pan.

5. The food product tray of claim 1, wherein the axis is positioned between the front end and the rear end of the pan.

6. The food product tray of claim 1 , wherein the gate is positioned on a first side of the front end of the pan and the axis is positioned on a second side of the front end of the pan opposite the first side.

7. The food product of claim 1, wherein, with the gate in the non-blocking position, the top edge of the gate is below the top surface of the pan.

8. The food product tray of claim 7, wherein, with the gate in the non-blocking position, food product configured to be supported on the pan and advanced off of a front end of the pan does not engage the gate.

9. The food product tray of claim 1, further comprising a frame member coupled to the gate, wherein the frame member is rotatable about the axis, and wherein rotation of the frame member about the axis moves the gate between the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

10. The food product tray of claim 9, further comprising a second frame member, wherein the first frame member and the second frame member interact to define the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

1 1. The food product tray of claim 10, wherein the first frame member defines a first slot therein and the second frame member defines a second slot therein, wherein the first slot and the second slot are transversely oriented relative to each other.

12. The food product tray of claim 11 , further comprising a first guide member at least partially positioned in the first slot and a second guide member at least partially positioned in the second slot, wherein the first guide member moves within the first slot and the second guide member moves within the second slot as the gate moves between the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

13. The food product tray of claim 12, wherein at least one of the first guide member and the second guide member engages an end of a respective one of the first slot and the second slot to define one of the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

14. A slicing apparatus comprising:

a housing;

a slicing blade supported by the housing and configured to move in order to slice food product;

a food product tray supported by and movable relative to the housing between a loading position, in which the food product tray is configured to receive at least one food product thereon, and an operating position, in which the food product is raised relative to the loading position, wherein the food product tray includes

a pan including a top surface, a front end and a rear end, at least one side member extending upward from the pan, and a gate positioned near the front end of the pan, wherein the gate is moveable between a blocking position, in which a top edge of the gate is positioned above the top surface of the pan and is configured to inhibit the at least one food product from advancing past the gate, and a non-blocking position, in which the top edge of the gate is moved to a position lower than in the blocking position to allow the at least one food product to advance past the gate, and wherein the gate moves along an arcuate path during movement of the gate from the blocking position to the non-blocking position, and wherein the arcuate path is defined by an axis displaced from the gate and a radius between the arcuate path and the axis; and

an infeed member configured to engage the at least one food product supported on the food product tray, wherein the infeed member is configured to advance the at least one food product past the gate and toward the slicing blade with the gate in the non-blocking position.

15. The slicing apparatus of claim 14, wherein the gate rotates away from the front end of the pan and downward when the gate moves from the blocking position to the non-blocking position.

16. The slicing apparatus of claim 15, wherein, with the gate in the blocking position, the gate is spaced-apart from the front end of the pan.

17. The slicing apparatus of claim 14, wherein the axis is positioned between the front end and the rear end of the pan.

18. The slicing apparatus of claim 14, wherein the gate is positioned on a first side of the front end of the pan and the axis is positioned on a second side of the front end of the pan opposite the first side.

19. The slicing apparatus claim 14, wherein, with the gate in the non-blocking position, the top edge of the gate is at or below the top surface of the pan.

20. The slicing apparatus of claim 19, wherein, with the gate in the non-blocking position, the at least one food product does not engage the gate as the infeed member advances the at least one food product past the gate.

21. The slicing apparatus of claim 14, wherein the food product tray further includes a frame member coupled to the gate, wherein the frame member is rotatable about the axis, and wherein rotation of the frame member about the axis moves the gate between the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

22. The slicing apparatus of claim 21, wherein the food product tray further includes a second frame member, wherein the first frame member and the second frame member interact to define the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

23. The slicing apparatus of claim 22, wherein the first frame member defines a first slot therein and the second frame member defines a second slot therein, wherein the first slot and the second slot are transversely oriented relative to each other.

24. The slicing apparatus of claim 23, wherein the food product tray further includes a first guide member at least partially positioned in the first slot and a second guide member at least partially positioned in the second slot, wherein the first guide member moves within the first slot and the second guide member moves within the second slot as the gate moves between the blocking position and the non-blocking position.

25. The slicing apparatus of claim 24, wherein at least one of the first guide member and the second guide member engages an end of a respective one of the first slot and the second slot to define one of the blocking position and the non-blocking position.