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Insurance for Food Recall

Consumers in today's society are well-educated and carry a heightened expectation that the food they consume will not only be safe, but will be healthy. For food companies to cater to these heightened standards, extraordinary diligence of their food and food-supply chain is required. Any significant lapses will likely result in a recall, potentially followed by consumers' bodily injury and downstream customers' property damage claims. A food company will then be assessing its own first-party property and recall-related damages as well, and may even need to respond to an FDA/DOJ follow-on investigation. 

The food company will look to its "food recall" insurers to assist with the crisis and to defend and indemnify any and all claims. Coverage disputes already arise under commercial general liability policies regarding whether there has been "bodily injury" or "property damage" in food contamination claims; and now that the number and breadth of food contamination incidents are increasing. Other types of insurance policies that may provide some "food recall" coverage are similarly being tested. Specialized product contamination policies are being purchased to specifically deal with the exposure, but even these policies must be closely scrutinized due to the varying policy language.

Contact for a complimentary copy of The Risk Report article "Insurance for Food Recall" written by Keller and Heckman attorney, Art Garrett, which explores the world of food recall insurance coverage.

If you think that your company's insurance portfolio could use a close examination from the perspective of coverage for a potential "food recall," please contact Art Garrett (202-434-4248 or            

Arthur S. Garrett III is co-chair of Keller and Heckman's national litigation practice and serves as the Firm's General Counsel. Mr. Garrett's litigation practice focuses on insurance recovery with an emphasis on representation of food industry policyholders. He also specializes in advising food companies as to their liability insurance programs, and provides advice on the appropriate insurance coverage and the rights of policyholders in the event of a loss and/or dispute with their insurance carriers. Recently, Mr. Garrett has handled "food recall" insurance matters involving pomegranate, parsley, alfalfa, soft cheese and cumin. Keller and Heckman LLP is ranked "Band 1" (top ranking) for Food & Beverages: Regulatory & Litigation by Chambers & Partners USA.