The Tennessee Food Freedom Act, which took effect on July 1, 2022, is excellent news for homemade food businesses in Tennessee. It allows these businesses to sell their products directly to consumers within the state, promoting the growth of small businesses and giving consumers more choices.
The Act also simplifies the regulatory process for homemade food if the products don't need temperature control for safety. Homemade food can now be sold at farmers' markets, grocery stores, roadside stands, and events.
Homemade food businesses can even accept orders online and ship within Tennessee. If you have any questions, please contact the Consumer and Industry Services Food Safety Section at NewFood.Business@tn.gov or call 615-837-5193.
Food-borne illnesses sickens an estimated 48 million people in the United States each year and lead to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Because many milder cases aren't diagnosed or reported, the number of people sickened by foodborne illness may be many times greater.
While large outbreaks tend to be associated with restaurants and other food service settings, home kitchens are also commonly implicated as a source of outbreaks. Despite advances in food safety, preventing food-borne illness and death remains a major public health challenge.
Visit the TN Department of Agriculture for grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience store inspections.