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The food machine had two large dials with selector needles on the front by which the codes for the various meals could be selected (one dial bore numbers, the other letters), and dispensed foil-wrapped blocks, served on paper plates, that looked like blocks of cheese or tofu, but when eaten tasted like whatever food had been programmed into the machine – such as bacon and eggs. (TV: "The Dead Planet")
Food machines came with a booklet which had codes for the food they could create. The code for eggs and bacon was J62/L6 (TV: "The Dead Planet"), while the code for spaghetti bolognese was KD/NB. (PROSE: Venusian Lullaby)
In the Doctor's TARDIS Edit
When Jo Grant brought a Micro Servo Robot into the TARDIS, it connected itself to the computer and began transmitting adverts. One of these adverts had the food machine produce toast with written adverts on it. (AUDIO: Pop-Up)
Chris Parsons discovered a food machine, which he thought was a minibar, in the guest suite aboard the TARDIS. He set the dials to K12, but the food block he was served with tasted of steak and candy floss. (PROSE: Shada)
After the TARDIS was stolen by Thomas Brewster, the food machine was one of the items which he removed from the TARDIS and sold to the crew of the Gamma who were marooned on the Time Reef. Although the Fifth Doctor was unable to recover the original food machine, he told Nyssa that he could easily build another. (AUDIO: Time Reef)
Sam told the Doctor's other companion Fitz Kreiner that the TARDIS didn't have a kitchen, just a food machine. Fitz, who preferred making meals himself, found a kitchen, but wasn't sure whether Sam simply hadn't known about it, or if it had been created for him. (PROSE: Autumn Mist)
The Tenth Doctor tried to fix the machine, which had not been used in years. He failed and it produced food with disgusting flavours. He later used these food blocks to kill the Glutonoid. (COMIC: The Glutonoid Menace)