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March 2019

Don’t Get Caught in a Lawsuit! Implement These Food Safety Tips Before Your Next Catering Event
By Food Liability Insurance Program 

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Imagine you're serving food at a wedding reception and the guests fall ill after consuming your food! How would you respond? Food poisoning can happen to any caterer and it is important to make sure your business is covered.

image by @neonbrand

THE CONARTON-ABBOTT WEDDING

Melissa Conarton and Jesse Abbott contracted a catering company to serve food at their wedding reception. There were over 100 people that got sick and 22 that were hospitalized overnight. According to court papers, the caterer's macaroni and cheese was statistically significant for staphylococcus aureus, a gastrointestinal illness. The couple sued for damages in order to pay their guest's medical bills and the caterer countersued for lack of payment for their services.

Even if you aren't found negligent or at fault, you could still be facing thousands of dollars just to defend yourself from a lawsuit.

FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES

It's no mystery that improper food safety practices can make or break your business. Here are some tactics you can implement today:

Take Extra Precaution: You can prevent cross-contamination by installing a sneeze guard in a buffet setting. If your employees are serving the food, make sure they use gloves and separate serving utensils for each dish.

Use Separate Cutting Boards: With multiple cutting boards, use one to chop vegetables and another for cutting meat. This technique avoids cross-contamination. If you absolutely need to use one cutting board, the best thing to do is to wash it with hot soapy water before using it a second time.

Sharpen Your Knives: Using a dull knife can increase your chances of cutting yourself during food prep. Make it a habit to sharpen your knives prior to food prep days.

CATERING INSURANCE CAN HELP

One of the most important risk-prevention tools every catering business owner should have is catering insurance. Since you prepare food in various locations, you need insurance that covers you everywhere you go. You don't want to put yourself or your business at risk. If someone gets sick from the food you serve, you may be on the hook for lawsuit and medical bills.

Food poisoning claims can wreck your business's reputation. With a costly legal battle and a mountain of bills with your name on them, the cost and the PR fallout can potentially shut down your operations for good.

Being vigilant about food safety practices and having the extra cushion of catering insurance, will give you the peace of mind to do what you do best... feed people!

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