Subject: URGENT: Tennessee - Tell Committee Members to Vote Yes on Food Freedom Act

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Hi Friend,

House Bill 813 (HB 813), also known as the Tennessee Food Freedom Act is before the House Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and is scheduled for a hearing March 30 at 10:30 am. The companion bill to HB 813, Senate Bill 693 (SB 693) has already passed out of the Senate; in Tennessee, both companion bills must pass out of their respective bodies for the bills to make it to the governor’s desk for signing.

HB 813 would allow the intrastate sale without regulation of “non-time/temperature control for safety” (NTTCS) homemade foods from producers, agents of the producer and third-party vendors such as retail shops and grocery stores to the consumer. NTTCS foods are foods that don’t require time or temperature control for safety to limit the growth of toxins; this definition includes fermented foods such as sauerkraut. “Homemade food item” is defined in the bill as a food item, including a non-alcoholic beverage, which is produced at the private residence of the producer.

HB 813 provides that the production and sale of homemade food items is exempt from all licensing, permitting, inspecting, packaging and labeling (other than the labeling requirements in the bill) laws of this state, except when the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is investigating a reported foodborne illness; nothing in the bill impedes the state from investigating a foodborne illness outbreak. The bill expressly preempts county, municipal and any other political jurisdiction from prohibiting and regulating the production and sale of homemade food items.

Internet and phone sales are allowed under the bill, in addition to in-person sales. Delivery can be made by a third-party carrier (such as UPS, USPS).

Current law allows the sale of basically the same foods from unlicensed producers direct to consumer so the main differences under HB 813 are that sales can take place at retail and grocery stores and that producers under the bill wouldn't be subject to inspection except when there is an investigation into whether homemade food was the cause of illness.

Help expand access to local food. Please see action steps below and share this alert with friends and family in Tennessee.

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director

Call and/or email all members of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources asking them to vote YES on HB 813. Calls are best but please do both if you can. You can use any of the Talking Points below. Member contact information is listed at the end of this email.

You may copy/paste this block into the "To" field to email all committee members:;;;;;;;;

See "COMMITTEE MEMBERS" below for more contact info.

1. There is great demand for locally produced foods. Passage of HB 813 will increase access to local food for state residents.

2. The bill would expand markets for homemade food producers, increasing sales with minimal regulation and expense.

3. There are 49 states with cottage foods (homemade) laws, some of which allow the sale of more foods than HB 813 proposes. Reports of illnesses attributed to producers operating under these laws are almost nonexistent. Homemade foods have a great track record for food safety.

4. Passage of HB 813 will keep more of the food dollar in the community enhancing the local economy.


Tennessee House Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources member profiles are displayed online HERE.

Todd, Chris (R - District 73) – Subcommittee Chair
(615) 741-7475

Cochran, Mark (R - District 23)
(615) 741-1725

Darby, Tandy (R - District 76)
(615) 741-7847

Halford, Curtis (R - District 79)
(615) 741-7478

Hulsey, Bud (R - District 2)
(615) 741-2886

Hurt, Chris (R - District 82)
(615) 741-2134

Potts, Jason (D - District 59)
(615) 741-2035

Reedy, Jay D. (R - District 74)
(615) 741-7098

Shaw, Johnny (D - District 80)
(615) 741-4538


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