SEOUL -- Responding to a new way of life brought about by a sharp rise in the number of single-person households, South Korean regulators introduced new rules to legalize Internet of Things (IoT)-controlled smart vending machines selling red meat.
In a prior announcement of revised legislation posted on its website, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said that vending machines selling refrigerated and vacuum-packed meat can be installed in places other than licensed butcher shops.
Using the internet, storage temperature and the expiration date of meat kept at IoT-controlled vending machines can be checked and managed in real time, the ministry said.
In March, CU, South Korea's largest convenience store chain, launched a pilot project to install IoT-backed smart meat vending machines at some outlets in lines brisk sales of fresh vegetables and instant food.
Young people have welcomed the spread of food vending machines as a convenient source of fresh produce. A 2015 census showed that there were 5.2 million single-person households or 27.7 percent of South Korea's total households.
CU's smart vending machine allows its operator to remotely monitor product quality and control refrigerator temperature and humidity with a mobile app. Consumers can buy different parts of fresh beef or pork in small amounts of about 300 grams.
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