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How Vending Machines Are Playing a Key Role in Ensuring Food Safety

Though vending machines have traditionally been associated with candy and soda, a growing number of vending machine companies now possess the resources to stock their machines with healthy meals such as fresh sandwiches and salads.
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The vending machine industry has recently expanded quite significantly in terms of product selection. Though vending machines have traditionally been associated with candy and soda, a growing number of vending machine companies now possess the resources to stock their machines with healthy meals such as fresh sandwiches and salads. 

This is only possible with the help of advanced temperature control capabilities and other technologies designed to prevent spoilage and ensure that products are safe to eat at any time. Vending machine companies are also harnessing new technology to minimize the amount of time perishable items spend in their machines and keep potentially unsafe items out of consumers’ hands.

With this in mind, let’s explore how vending machines have advanced to the forefront of food safety.

Temperature control

Thanks to software-driven temperature control technology, vending machine companies can make sure that healthy items are stored at the correct temperatures for their specific meals or beverages. This is very important for items that require particularly precise temperatures to maintain their quality and taste. 

In addition to preserving the safety of ingredients, temperature control technology allows items to be served at their optimal temperature and freshness at any time of the day. Consumers are unlikely to receive an item that tastes even slightly too cold or too warm, regardless of when they purchase the item.



Traditional vending machines, by comparison, offer much less flexibility when it comes to temperature control. With these outdated refrigeration systems, a cold sandwich would theoretically be stored at the same temperature as a cold beverage. But this may not be the optimal storage temperature for the sandwich’s ingredients. The refrigeration systems for traditional vending machines are also more prone to malfunction, which could cause highly perishable items to spoil quickly.

Preventing the sale of expired items

Due to the short shelf lives of healthy meals, it’s still possible for an item to spoil inside a modern vending machine. However, new technology can identify expired items and prevent them from being vended. 

Many modern vending machines are equipped with mechanisms that put “locks” on items once they’ve exceeded their shelf life and can no longer be considered palatable or safe to eat. Modern vending machines can also be programmed to cease vending should the machine’s temperature exceed a certain threshold. 

For instance, say an electrical malfunction temporarily interferes with a machine’s refrigeration system and causes the temperature to rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, widely considered the optimal storage temperature for cold items. Since even a brief change in temperature could compromise the safety of a highly perishable item, the machine would immediately render itself non-functional and prevent its potentially unsafe items from reaching consumers. 

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Remote monitoring

Another essential component of food safety in modern vending machines is remote monitoring, which enables vending machine companies to monitor temperature, expiration dates, sales, and overall machine functionality in real-time. When an item is nearing its expiration date or the point when certain ingredients can no longer be considered fresh, the company can swiftly take action and remove the item before it reaches this point.

Vending machine companies can also harness remote monitoring to replenish items before they sell out, as opposed to being blindsided by an item’s popularity and having to miss out on further sales until a new shipment arrives. Consumers probably won’t continue to visit a machine that’s consistently sold out of their favorite items.

If vending machine companies want to be viewed as a reliable source of healthy food, they have to show consumers that their machines are reliably stocked with popular items and can function properly without frequent mechanical problems. Remote monitoring ultimately allows vending machine companies to resolve many issues that might inhibit customer service as quickly as possible, bolstering their reputations in the process.

Maximizing sales and reducing waste

The most advanced vending machines take further advantage of historical data by incorporating predictive algorithms that track sales and inventory patterns to give companies a clear picture of demand. Once a company identifies a vending machine’s highest-performing items, the company can stock this machine with more of these items as well as other items containing similar ingredients to maximize sales.

By consistently stocking their machines with high-performing items, vending machine companies can minimize waste from unsold or spoiled items that would otherwise be thrown away. Reducing waste benefits the environment and demonstrates a commitment towards ethical business practices beyond food safety. Environmental stewardship is also valued very highly by today’s consumers, so it’s in the best interest of vending machine companies to prove that their machines can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable society. 



Dan Doromal Everest
Dan Doromal, Co-Owner and Vice President of Operations for Everest Ice and Water Systems

Final thoughts

The future of the vending machine industry is directly connected to its relationship with food safety. Healthier items require more care than traditional vending machine options, so companies should be prepared to devote more and more resources towards ensuring their quality, especially new technology. Prioritizing food safety and minimizing waste could help in creating a loyal and grateful customer base that knows exactly where to find a healthy meal at any time of the day.


About the Author 

Dan Doromal, Co-Owner and Vice President of Operations for Everest Ice and Water Systems, has been instrumental in helping his company climb to the top in reputation, earning a number of prestigious awards ranking Everest as one of the fastest-growing and best-performing companies in the country. Under Dan’s leadership, Everest continues to set, meet, and exceed ambitious goals for growth in all arenas - sales, size, performance, and more.  

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