The grocery store

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By Merilee Dannemann

Years ago, a small family-owned grocery store at the north end of Taos was known for having the best meat in town.
The meat was always laid out on fresh butcher paper in immaculately clean, glass-fronted display cases.
It was never pre-wrapped. You got to select exactly the piece you wanted, wrapped freshly for you by an employee, usually a member of the family. I bought most of my meat there, confident that it was clean and unspoiled.
One of the owners told me about new government regulations requiring expensive refrigeration equipment they couldn’t afford.
The equipment was intended to keep meat safe, but this store took good care of its meat without the extra equipment or the regulations. He asked, was this a move by the big supermarket chains to drive small family stores like theirs out of business?
I didn’t think so. I reasoned that the chains wouldn’t mind, and might even welcome, a uniform set of rules.
The rules would provide guidance to store managers, give them a standard, and probably also give direction to the equipment manufacturers.

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