“…a growing trend toward â€œgluten-freeâ€ menu items at Americaâ€™s restaurants and catered events is increasing the demand for product liability and completed operations insurance, designed to protect food-service businesses against lawsuits arising from bad reactions to food products…”
The â€œgluten-freeâ€ trend is helping many establishments appeal to millions of Americans who are seeking gluten-free options for a variety of reasons, including gluten sensitivities (claimed by up to 10 percent of Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health) and celiac disease (diagnosed in about 1 percent of the U.S. population, or 3 million people). While offering more options for these customers makes for good public relations, it also opens the door to a new level of potential liability.
While any restaurant could face a lawsuit arising from alleged food poisoning or food allergies, those promising â€œgluten-freeâ€ menu items are at even greater risk of a lawsuit if a customer should choose these options and still have a reaction. Because there are currently no standards that define exactly what constitutes â€œgluten-free,â€ some restaurants may be promoting a â€œgluten-freeâ€ product that is prepared in the same area as foods containing gluten, raising the potential 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, raising the potential for lawsuits.
Thankfully, food service businesses â€” including restaurants, catering businesses, and other food service providers â€” can protect themselves against the high cost of lawsuits by purchasing a type of insurance known as â€œproduct liability and completed operationsâ€ coverage. 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 or caterer sells.
For more: Â http://www.restaurantnews.com/gluten-free-trend-spurs-demand-for-restaurant-liability-insurance/