Butcher’s 24-hour meat vending machine is delayed by Sacramento County health officials


By Dante Motley, The Sacramento Bee (CA) 

June 18, 2022


An East Sacramento butcher’s plans to meet meat demands have been temporarily thwarted by Sacramento County health officials.


V. Miller Meats, located at 4801 Folsom Blvd., was slated to open a new 24/7 meat vending machine Thursday when the county’s Environmental Management Department officials raised concerns.


“The number one thing we’re trying to do is improve the quality of service for our customers, extend business hours, improve our small local business where. ... It’s really mind-boggling to me it can just automatically be a hard no.” said Eric Veldman Miller, the owner of the butcher shop.


Miller told The Bee that the machine was the first of its kind, designed specifically to safely carry meat. He said that the delivery of the machine was even delayed to include more heat-resistant equipment due to concerns about Sacramento’s summer weather.


But on Thursday, while the shop had carts of meat ready to load into the machine, they received a call from the county telling them they needed to provide information and schematics for approval before they could open it. Although he sent it immediately, Miller thought the request was strange, as the shop has never previously had to get refrigeration equipment approved by the city or county.


However, county spokeswoman Kim Nava said the machine was not allowed to open as it had not gone through departmental review to ensure NSF International and National Automatic Merchandising Association standards for vending machines.


“There’s reasons why they have the standards in place,” Nava said. “They need to be met for general food safety for the public.”


Miller is unsure when the machine will be open, claiming that a public health official told him, “we are really short-staffed so this is going to take a while.”