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Restaurant Insurance and Food Truck Safety

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jun 10, 2018

Food truck safety tips to lower your restaurant commercial insurance in Allentown, Reading, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Food Trucks may have started as a big-city phenomenon, but their numbers are growing in big and small towns alike. While the restaurant industry continues to grow at a steady rate of approximately 2% each year, food trucks have increased at a rate of 7.9% annually over the past five years, according to FoodTruckr.com. In 2017, food trucks were a $2 million industry.

Much of the appeal may be the relatively low start-up and operating costs. But as with any business, food trucks come with their share of risks. The right type of restaurant insurance can help protect your investment if something happens. Taking proactive steps to avoid that “dreaded something” from happening can save lots of time, money, and headaches, and avoid increased restaurant insurance premiums as well.

Here are three food truck risks you should consider and tips to help you mitigate them:

Damage to Your Vehicle

Your food truck is your livelihood, and if something were to happen to it – like a fire or auto accident – that puts your vehicle out of commission for any length of time, your business could be in jeopardy. Here are some tips to avoid damage to your food truck:

  • Vet your employees.
    We know you have a lot of things to consider when hiring someone new, but if they will be driving your truck, it’s essential to check their driving record. If they’ve had multiple accidents or speeding tickets, the chances of them damaging your truck in an accident are probably higher. Plus, employees with bad driving records could cost you more on commercial auto insurance.

  • Drive Safely.
    While your food truck is in motion, there’s always the possibility of an accident. However, there are safety measures that you can take and that you can share with your employees such as being an alert driver, maintaining your truck, Keeping enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you, etc. Mobile-Cuisine offers these food truck driving safety Tips.

Injury to an Employee

There are a lot of dangers in the food industry that also apply to food trucks like falling, burns, cuts, etc. Your employees can be your biggest asset and your biggest liability. Practicing safety in the kitchen can help save you money on Workers’ Compensation and liability costs, and it’s just good business. Here are tips to create a safe kitchen for your food truck:

  • Create and enforce a safety plan.
    This is a big one. It can be time-consuming, but it is well worth your time if it can avoid causing injury to employees or customers.

  • Train your employees.
    Creating a safety plan and then simply letting it sit in a drawer gathering dust is a waste of time and money. Make sure your employees understand and follow the safety procedures you’ve put in place. Make it clear that safety is a priority and hat your safety plan isn’t just a formality, but something that every employee is expected to follow.

  • Create a safe environment.
    Try to eliminate potential hazards by keeping floors clean and uncluttered, providing personal protective equipment when appropriate, properly maintaining kitchen equipment, and following manufacturers’ instructions.

                 

Injury or Illness of a Customer

In this litigious society that we live in, every business owner needs to be aware of liability risks. If a customer standing in lines trips, falls, and hurts themselves, they could sue you. If they suffer from a food-related illness after eating your food, they could sue you. Liability insurance is a must, but here are some steps to limit injury and illness to your customers:

  • To avoid food-related illnesses, follow food handling and safety measures such as storing food correctly, following proper cooking procedures, preventing cross-contamination, and practicing proper handwashing techniques.

  • Ensure that the area around your truck is clear of hazards such as slippery surfaces, cords, etc., and clearly mark any potential hazards you may not be able to control.

Get the Best Commercial Insurance for Your Restaurant Business 

Being proactive is important, but sometimes no matter how careful you are, accidents still happen. This is where the right insurance can help protect your business.

The independent agents at American Insuring Group specialize in all types of Commercial Insurance. Their independence means they are free to shop the market to get you the best deal on insurance that's right for your business.  

So call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online.

 

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Food Truck Insurance

Restaurant Insurance & the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 24, 2018

Restaurant Insurance and HACCP guidelines. Affordable restaurant insurance for Berks County, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Lancaster County, Allegheny County, PA and beyond.Every year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and over half of all reported foodborne illnesses are attributed to foodservice. 

In addition to the human cost (sickness, medical costs, lost work), a foodborne-illness outbreak at your restaurant can cost thousands of dollars and sometimes the loss of your business. It can cause negative media exposure, damage your reputation, decrease sales, affect staff morale, create lawsuits, and increase your restaurant insurance premiums.

Every food product that you serve has gone through several levels of the supply chain, and there are hazards at every level that can cause sickness or injury. Fortunately, these hazards can be reduced, prevented, and even eliminated.

Managing Food Safety via the HACCP System

Smart restaurant owners do what they can to reduce foodborne hazards, and there are many food safety management plans available. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is one of the most widely used system, and it is endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods and the Codex Alimentarius as the best process control system available today. The FDA says, “HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and merchandising to preparing food for consumption.”

The History of HACCP and Food Safety

HACCP was introduced in the 1960s to produce the safest and highest quality food possible for astronauts in the space program. The HACCP Alliance defines the HACCP system as “a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions to prevent the hazards from occurring. By strictly monitoring and controlling each step of the process, there is less chance for hazards to occur.”

A Proactive Approach to Food Safety

One of the advantages of HACCP is that it prevents food safety hazards rather than reacting to food safety hazards; it prioritizes and controls potential hazards. And it can be customized to your restaurant’s menu, customers, equipment, processes, and operations.

Compliance May not be Mandatory, but it's Really Smart!

Most restaurants are not required to have an HACCP plan, but it is one of the best systems available to ensure the safety of the food within your restaurant, and, as a big bonus, it is likely to help reduce your restaurant insurance premiums by lowering the number of insurance claims submitted.

 

Seven Principles of HACCP

HACCP is based on seven principles, according to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological criteria for foods. Here they are:

Principle 1: Conduct a Hazard Analysis

Identify food safety hazards - any biological, chemical, or physical property that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption - and take preventative measures to control these hazards.

Principle 2: Determine Critical Control Points

A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step, or procedure in the manufacturing or preparation of food where a control can be applied to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard.

Principle 3: Establish Critical Limits

A critical limit is a maximum/minimum level to which a biological, chemical, or physical factor must be raised/reduced to in order to prevent, reduce, or eliminate a food safety hazard

Principle 4: Establish Monitoring Procedures

Monitoring is a planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess whether a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification.

Principle 5: Establish Corrective Actions

Ideal circumstances do not always prevail and deviations from established processes may occur requiring corrective actions.

Principle 6: Verify That the System Works

Once an HACCP is in place, make sure the system is operating according to plan and delivering the desired results.

Principle 7: Keep Accurate Records and Documentation

Restaurant owners should maintain the following records: a summary of the hazard analysis - including the rationale for determining hazards and control measures - and the HACCP Plan - including a brief summary of the position responsible for performing the activity and the procedures and frequency.

Contact Us for Better Restaurant Insurance at a Better Price! 

Get a better deal on Restaurant Insurance - Contact American Insuring Group in Berks County, PAAn HACCP plan is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of the food that you serve and to protect your customers, your employees, and your bottom line.

The right restaurant insurance is a safety net that protects you in the event that all of your precautions aren’t enough.

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Restaurant Insurance, and best of all, they're independent. That means we are free to shop the market to get a plan that matches your needs with a great price!

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to see how we can help you save on your bar, nightclub, food truck, or any other type of restaurant insurance.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Food Truck Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

Food Truck Insurance and Risk Management

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Oct 02, 2017

Contact us to reduce risks for your food truck business with the right insurance. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon. Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.More people are getting into the food truck business than ever before. Food trucks offer a more affordable and flexible option for first-time entrepreneurs. Plus, many restaurateurs are adding food trucks to increase brand awareness and to cash in on the current growth of the food truck industry.

Food Truck Business Quadrupled in 5 Years

Food Trucks are the fastest growing channel in today’s foodservice industry. The projected food truck revenue in 2017 is expected to be $2.7 billion – compared to $650 million just five years ago - according to Foodtruckoperator.com.

Food Truck Business Risks

Like any business, food trucks face potential risks. Here are 3 main risks to consider:

  1. Vehicle Risk – Food trucks are exposed to many of the same physical risks a restaurant faces such as fire, flood, and general wear and tear with the addition of automobile accidents.

  2. Operator Risk – The people operating the vehicle are subject to many of the same risks a restaurant faces such as falls, cuts, and burns.

  3. Liability Risks – Customers can suffer an injury such as slips or falls along with food-related illnesses. Plus, food trucks have the added liability that sometimes occurs with automobile accidents.

How to Protect Your Food Truck Business

It is your responsibility to protect your business, employees, and customers by managing these risks. There are steps you can take to prevent some them such as thoroughly screening anyone who will be driving your vehicle, following food safety guidelines, and being aware of any possible hazards both in and around your truck. Unfortunately, there will always be certain risks you don’t anticipate or can’t control. One lawsuit or one accident that you aren’t prepared for can mean the end of your business and all the hard work and financial resources you’ve put into it.

Gain Additional Protection with Food Truck Insurance

That’s where food truck insurance - which addresses risks related to most businesses and risks unique to food trucks – can help. Also, most landlords, event organizers, and venue owners will require you to have certain types of insurance. For example, most will require at least $1 million in general liability insurance. They don’t want to be held responsible for damage to your vehicle or injury to your customers. 

7 types of insurance you may want to consider for your food truck business:

  1. General liability helps cover legal expenses, fines, and penalties if someone sues you.

  2. Workers compensation (WC) insurance is required by many states. Within Pennsylvania, WC is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees (with a few exceptions). But with a food truck, you may find yourself traveling to other states. The National Federation of Independent Business offers a state-by-state comparison of workers’ compensation requirements.

  3. Property damage insurance protects your property from damage caused by collision, theft, fire, vandalism, and other damage while your vehicle is parked. Property is divided into two separate categories: your food truck with any attached equipment and the contents of your vehicle.

  4. Auto liability insurance covers you for injury or property damage to others if there is an accident while you are driving the vehicle.

  5. Food spoilage coverage protects you from the costs associated with the loss of food and beverages due to spoilage. Food can quickly spoil with a prolonged power outage or an equipment breakdown, and you certainly don’t want to serve your customers spoiled food.

  6. Food contamination coverage may help recover certain expenses if the health board shuts down your food truck after a food-borne illness outbreak. Contamination can be caused by mishandled or improperly stored food, employees may unknowingly transmit a virus or bacteria to the food, or the food may even be contaminated when you receive it.

  7. Umbrella insurance, which goes above and beyond your general liability and auto liability limits, may be required for large contracts.

 

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Food Truck Business

Contact American Insuring Group for help in obtaining the best food truck insurance at the right price for your needs.It may sound complicated and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but the independent agents at American Insuring Group can walk you through your options and help you determine the best food truck insurance for your operation. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

We'll compare competing insurance providers to determine those that offer the best protection at the best price to meet your needs. Contact us today to get protected and to start saving on food truck insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Food Truck Insurance