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Tennessee House passes ‘food freedom’ act

The Tennessee House passed the Tennessee Food Freedom Act last week, which removes unnecessary and anti-competitive regulations on homemade food items. House Bill 813 recognizes the right of individuals to produce, procure and consume homemade foods of their choice. Present law requires a person to have a license from the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture in order to manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for introduction into commerce. However, present law provides that a license is not required for certain conditions or when food is not potentially hazardous or subject to permit requirements governing dairy foods, poultry or meat processing, or permits for retail food establishments.

“This is an attempt to make it easier for folks in our communities to use (and sell) locally sourced foods to their friends and neighbors that they produce in their homes. We’re trying to make it a little simpler,” said bill sponsor State Rep. Justin Lafferty, R-Knoxville.

House Bill 813 defines a “homemade food item” as items that are produced and packaged at the private residence of the producer. The bill requires homemade food items to be labeled with the name, home address and telephone number of the producer along with the ingredients in descending order of predominance. For information about House Bill 813 visit here.

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