Old-School Supermarket Meat Departments

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Old-School Supermarket Meat Departments

Post by Ouisch » 09 Oct 2019 15:00

Hi everyone! New member here. I am researching an article about old-school supermarkets (basically, things I remember as a kid while shopping with Mom).

I'll definitely post more questions in the future, but for the moment I'm interested to hear from anyone who either worked in the meat department or has industry knowledge on two points:

Do you remember the Hobart mechanized line that was often in place (in full visibility to customers) behind the butcher's cawse/ meat display at chain supermarkets? Cuts of meat were placed on pressed board (or some container; I'm not sure if they used styrofoam at the time), and the container moved down an automated line that wrapped it in cellophane and then placed a label on it and then stamped a price on the label. As a child, that was the highlight of my weekly trip to the grocery store with Mom, and it disappointed me when the machine wasn't in operation.

I'm wondering why this machine eventually was apparently relegated to the "back room". I can only guess - it took up too much room? Customers didn't like to see the butcher in his bloody apron setting the meat into the containers? Hygienic reasons? Any insider input would be much appreciated!

Secondly, when I was growing up (1960s/70s era), the meat on display was separated by plastic green vegetation. I know that the tactic at the time was to make the meat lookl fresher, "more red", but my local grocery stores no longer use those plastic green veggie dividers. Any verifiable info as to A) what those dividers were called, and B) why grocery stores no longer use them?

Thanks very much for your help!

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