Food Allergies and Hospitality Insurance Programs

Everyone has his or her favorite restaurant, where they have come to expect excellent food and good service, where the mood is always light and smiles and laughter abound. But as with any establishment, the place could end up being the source of a painful memory simply because they failed to carefully inspect a food item they served and now they have one or more patrons suffering from a food-related illness.

Any restaurant owner could find themselves facing a lawsuit arising from alleged food poisoning or food allergies, and this is why hospitality insurance programs, providing products and completed operations coverage for your clients, is a necessary part of this fabulous and often competitive industry.

The introduction of gluten-free products

The gluten-free trend has helped many food service establishments appeal to the millions of Americans who have added gluten-free options to their diet for a variety of reasons, including sensitivity issues (this has been claimed by up to 10 percent of Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health). While offering more options for these customers increases their customer base, it may also open the door to some new liability concerns.

Restaurants that offer gluten-free menu items are perhaps at an even greater risk of a lawsuit if a customer should choose these options and still end up having some type of a reaction to something they ingest. Since there are currently no standards that define exactly what constitutes gluten-free, some restaurants may be promoting a gluten-free product that is prepared in the same area as foods containing gluten, which only raises opportunities for cross-contamination.

While many people with sensitivities may not have reactions to small amounts of gluten, others with higher levels of sensitivity could have a severe reaction, which only results in the potential for lawsuits.

This merely brings us back around to the need to avoid having files claimed for food allergies, or food poisoning in connection with items offered and served at your clients’ food service businesses. They can protect themselves against the high cost of lawsuits by purchasing product liability and completed operations coverage through hospitality insurance programs.

This insurance not only covers lawsuits related to gluten reactions, but also those related to other food allergies, food poisoning, or other injuries or damages caused by the products a restaurant serves.