Working in the food service industry often means hard work and long hours. You also face many unique challenges, including the responsibility of ensuring that the food you serve to your customers is safe. As any restaurant owner knows, a foodborne-illness can cause the loss of thousands of dollars and, in some cases, your entire business.
The National Restaurant Association estimates the average cost of a foodborne illness outbreak at more than $75,000. This doesn’t even take into account the human cost. Does your restuarant have the proper insurance to handle such an occurence?
Millions of people become sick each year and thousands die after eating contaminated or mishandled foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 2011 that contaminated food caused 47.8 million illnesses a year in the United States (that includes food eaten at home and other places besides restaurants).
Ten Factors That Often Cause Food-borne Illnesses, According to the CDC:
- Improper cooling of foods — the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks.
- Advance preparation of food (with a 12-hour or more delay before service).
- Infected employees who practice poor personal hygiene.
- Failure to reheat cooked foods to temperatures that kill bacteria.
- Improper hot holding temperatures.
- Adding raw, contaminated ingredients to food that receives no further cooking.
- Foods from unsafe sources.
- Cross contamination of cooked food by raw food.
- Improper use of leftovers.
- Failure to heat or cook food thoroughly.
Here are five steps you can take to minimize foodborne illnesses in your restaurant and decrease the risk of an insurance claim:
- Wash your hands.
- Thoroughly wash all produce, since it is often served uncooked.
- Maintain a temperature at or below 40°F in your refrigerators to minimize bacterial growth.
- In order to kill any bacteria present, cook foods to the minimum recommended internal temperature and sustain that temperature for at least 15 seconds.
- Clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, such as countertops, cutting boards, utensils, pots, and pans.
Have the Right Restaurant Insurance When All Else Fails
If, in spite of all your efforts to keep your food safe, your restaurant does experience an outbreak of a foodborne illness, there’s only one thing that can save you – the right insurance. One option you may want to consider adding to your basic policy is business interruption insurance to help your business stay afloat if you’re forced to shut down for any length of time. Another good option is food contamination coverage, which covers your restaurant from financial loss and helps rebuild your restaurant’s reputation.
Don't Leave it to Chance: Contact us Today
You’ve worked hard to establish your restaurant business. Don't leave things to chance. Be sure you can survive any potential issues with a comprehensive restaurant insurance policy tailored specifically to your business. The agents at American Insuring Group understand your unique challenges. Contact us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.