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

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As a caterer, you have the opportunity to serve food at some amazing events, such as weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, and more. However, your food safety plan may not run smoothly at every event. As a caterer, you need to account for human error and make sure your risk management strategy includes catering insurance.

Imagine you’re serving food at a wedding reception and your 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.


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. Lawyers alone can charge $100-400 per hour, depending on the area, area of expertise, and years of experience.


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.


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 catering 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 catering 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. However, with the help of catering insurance, you can offset the legal costs and focus on recovering your reputation. Don’t get caught in a bind without catering insurance. We currently insure over 40,000 small businesses and food professionals and offer coverage in all 50 states. Check out our testimonials from FLIP customers here!


Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.

Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.

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