Owning and running a restaurant is gratifying in many ways, but doesn’t come without its own unique challenges. Focusing on your patrons and ensuring they continue to frequent your establishment should be your main priority, but when unexpected situations occur, you may be faced with a lawsuit if you aren’t prepared or adequately protected. Restaurants face a wide variety of risks each and every day, but do you know how to avoid products and liquor liability losses for your restaurant?
The Ugly Truth
Did you know that foodborne illness affects 1 in 6 people in the U.S. every year? You can get food poisoning when you ingest food that has been contaminated and statistically, the CDC (The Centers for Disease Control) estimates that 128,000 people are hospitalized every year, while 3,000 people die. Foodborne illness is one of the biggest threats the restaurant industry faces and if one of your customers gets ill from food poisoning, your assets and restaurant could potentially suffer their own death.
As an Oklahoma restaurant owner, you must make sure that proper food handling, cooking, and storing procedures are in effect and strictly followed so that your patrons will be safe from this danger. Below are just some of the ways food can become tainted and result in food poisoning.
- Poor Personal Hygiene from Employees
- Contaminated Equipment
- Incorrect Cooking Practices
- Unsuitable/Contaminated Food Sources from the Manufacturer or Distributer
- Inadequate Temperatures for Refrigeration/Freezer
- Unsafe Practices in Food Handling
Food Storage and Handling
In order to keep food safe, the restaurant industry has to follow outlined procedures and practices in order to avoid the risks of serving contaminated food to their customers. Below are just some considerations that restaurants should maintain in order to protect the food and promote a clean environment so as to protect their patrons from foodborne illness:
- Appropriate Food Storage
- Correct Temperatures/Conditions for Stored Food
- Proper Temperatures for Cooked Food (including carry out or catering)
- Suitable Cleaning Technique and Procedures
- Mandatory Training for all Restaurant Staff on Safe Food Handling/Cooking Practices
- Proper Food Inspection
- Regular Inspections for Extermination and Ventilation
- Sanitary Hygiene for Employees
When you serve or sell alcohol at your restaurant, you are exposed to another very common business risk and that is liquor liability. If your restaurant fails to card someone and serves alcohol to a minor, or your bartender over serves a patron and he/she leaves drunk and wrecks, you could be faced with fines, loss of liquor license, lawsuits, and the closing of your restaurant doors.
Liquor liability insurance is designed to protect your restaurant should a situation like this happen. After all, employees do make mistakes and accidents happen. To avoid liquor liability situations as best as possible, make sure all of your staff are aware of the laws, rules, and regulations regarding the sale or consumption of alcohol at your restaurant and ensure management is enforcing all of them.
Minimize the Risks at Your Oklahoma Restaurant TODAY
Your Oklahoma restaurant business is important to us and we understand the unique challenges your restaurant is faced with daily, so contact us at 918-341-6081 with any questions you may have regarding product and liquor liability risks and the insurance that minimizes those same risks.