Minister of Food and Drug Safety promotes regulatory innovation in new food industries such as robot-cooked vending machines

(Source: SBS biz)

On January 24, Minister of Food and Drug Safety Oh Yoo-kyung  visited Jukjeon Rest Area (located in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do), where an unmanned  cooking vending machine was installed  , to inspect the operation status , and then  visited Rn (Gangnam-gu, Seoul ) , a general restaurant that  cooks food using robots. They announced that they visited the site  and held a meeting with related industries (vending machine and cooking robot manufacturers, etc.)  and  listened to on-site opinions .

As the number of automatic and semi –  automatic food cooking and sales operations  using robots   has  recently increased, this visit was designed to improve the safety management system in line with new changes and ease entry regulations for business operators, such as allowing robot-cooked food to be sold in vending machines. It was prepared to support the revitalization of new industries.

 Director Yoo-kyung Oh first visited the Jukjeon Rest Area on the Expressway,   toured  the unmanned coffee, ramen, and cotton candy vending machines prepared by robots, and listened to hygiene and safety management methods and  on-site opinions from managers .

As part of the ‘Food and Drug Regulatory Innovation  2.0  Task’  announced in June last year, the Ministry of  Food and Drug Safety is pursuing a regulatory improvement task * to include food cooking in the current  food vending machine business scope (the “Enforcement Rules of the Food Sanitation Act” legislative notice has been completed). , ~’23.10).

< Title and content of regulation improvement project >

√ Title:  (Number 42) Market entry is becoming easier by reorganizing unmanned automatic cooking machines, etc. into vending machine business 
√ Content:  (Current) A variety of automatic food cooking and vending machines are in operation, but there are regulations that reflect new industry trends such as robot cooking. None → (Revision) Expanded business scope to include food cooking in food vending machine business scope, changed business name, strengthened management standards

 An official from the company said, “  If automatic food cooking and vending machine business is established in the future due to improved regulations, various cooked food vending machines can be  installed in highway rest areas  , so users can use them conveniently even at night ,  and it will also help operators increase sales .” “I expect it to be given,” he said.

 Director Yoo-kyung Oh requested, “In the case of automatic food cooking and vending machine business, hygiene and safety should be managed more thoroughly considering that people are not permanently present in the store  .”

 Next,  we visited  Rn , a restaurant where  robots cook , and looked around the site of chicken and pasta cooking using robots . We also visited six companies * , including  a vending machine manufacturer, a cooking robot manufacturing startup, and an unmanned cafe operator,  at a food store. We listened to on-site difficulties  when using robots .

   * Participating companies: RoboArte Co., Ltd.,

 An official from the company said, “There seems to be vague anxiety about food safety because restaurants where robots cook are somewhat unfamiliar to consumers. If the government gives  hygiene  certification for restaurants where robots cook, it will revitalize robot-related industries and “I think it could be helpful for overseas exports of related products, ” he suggested.

Director Yoo-kyung Oh emphasized  , “As changes in new industries such as unmanned stores and restaurants using cooking robots are accelerating, we will  reflect on-site opinions and  rationally improve regulations   to provide safe food to the public and revitalize related industries. ” . 

 In the future, to ensure that the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety’s will for regulatory innovation, which is ‘Success of Innovation, Opens the Future’, is realized, we  plan to continuously inspect  sites directly, actively communicate with various stakeholders, and  promote ‘Food and Drug Regulatory Innovation’ without a hitch .

Editor Jun-beom

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