I’m curious as to whether a coffee roaster selling roasted beans (a non-PHF under TN law) at a Farmer’s Market may offer free samples of coffee it brews to order. The law in TN states that “[a]ll nonpotentially hazardous food from a home based kitchen may be distributed as free samples.” But coffee, once brewed, techinically has the “potential” to eventually become hazardous. My question is whether a roaster may prepare a sample to order for free for someone to try and immediately dispose of the remainder. Under those circumstances, all that’s required is hot water, freshly ground beans, and immediate disposal. Of course, common sense is often anathema to the law. It seems that some states encourage sampling at social events, as does TN for non-PHFs. I guess the question is whether roasted coffee becomes “potentially hazardous” in the 2 minutes from grinding to the customer sampling the cup. Does anyone have any feel for how Tennessee treats sampling under these circumstances?
Certain cottage foods cannot be sampled in their prepared state, such as dip mixes. The ability to sell roasted coffee does not include prepared coffee, but some states do allow the sale of coffee and tea because those are low-risk items. You should contact the ag dept to learn about the rules for selling prepared coffee.