Food has a way of bringing people together. However, your food safety practices may not run smoothly and a foodborne illness could sicken or even kill your customers. Every restaurant owner needs to include restaurant insurance to their risk management strategy.
Imagine— you’re serving Caesar salad to a family and your guests fall ill after they eat it, and then sue you for thousands of dollars. This is exactly what transpired at one popular Georgia restaurant.
THE LOPRESTI FAMILY CASE
One local news article stated:
“Both girls had a fever and started experiencing severe abdominal cramping, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.”
The daughters required medical attention and tested positive for E.coli. LoPresti sued for the damages, due to medical expenses.
Restaurant insurance may offset the cost and prevent your business from having to deal with the financial burden. Even if you aren’t found negligent or at fault for a third-party claim, you could still face 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.
HOW RESTAURANT OWNERS CAN AVOID IMPROPER FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES
Improper food safety practices can not only make or break your business from the resulting bad PR fallout and financial repercussions from lawsuits, but they can cause irreparable harm to your customers, including death.
Did you know the CDC estimates that 128,000 Americans go to the hospital because of a foodborne illness, and nearly 3,000 die yearly?
THE TOP HEALTH CODE VIOLATIONS IN RESTAURANTS ARE:
TIME AND TEMPERATUREKeep cold foods below 40° F and hot foods above 140° F. Anything between these temperatures is the Temperature Danger Zone and no food should be within the TDZ for more than four hours.
FOOD STORAGEKeep items from contaminating other items, particularly chicken while in storage. Keep similar items above and below each other and store in this order from top to bottom:
- Raw Vegetables
- Cooked Vegetables
- Cooked Meats
- Cooked Seafood
- Raw Seafood
- Raw Beef
- Raw Pork
- Raw Chicken
CROSS CONTAMINATIONUse separate cutting boards and implement a hand-washing process when switching between types of foods. Only use the proper utensils for each item and don’t use one utensil for different types of items.
PERSONAL SANITATIONHepatitis is one of the primary concerns in the food industry and washing hands may not eradicate it from the skin. Hand washing should be done with anti-bacterial soap and hot water, up to the elbows and under the nails with a nail brush for 20 seconds. Cooks and chefs should wear clean uniforms or clothing that are washed daily.
CHEMICAL USE AND STORAGEUnderstand how to properly sanitize surfaces and properly label cleaning solutions. An improperly labeled lye bottle caused one Utah woman severe esophageal burns when a food worker mistakenly added the lye to her drink.
Restaurant Insurance Can Help With Third-Party Liability Claims
One of the most important risk-prevention tools every restaurant business owner should have is restaurant insurance. Since you prepare food for a large number of customers on any given day, you don’t want to put your business at risk if something does go wrong. If someone gets sick or dies from the food you serve, you may be on the hook for a lawsuit and medical bills. Furthermore, food poisoning claims can wreck your restaurant’s reputation.
Insurance Canopy can also protect your restaurant business with additional coverage options depending upon your specific business needs. We can customize an insurance policy that includes liquor liability, commercial auto, excess liability insurance, and more.
For more information or to get an insurance quote, please
As a restaurant owner, you have the opportunity to serve your food for special occasions such as family gatherings, date nights, birthdays, casual evenings, and so much more. With a costly legal battle and a mountain of bills with your name on them, the nightmare may close your doors for good. However, with the help of insurance, you can offset the legal costs and focus on rebuilding your reputation. Don’t get caught without restaurant insurance.
*All insurance policies have conditions, limitations, and exclusions. Please refer to the policy for exact coverages.
BY LYNDSEY LARSEN
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.