Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season means that there will be many visits from friends and family, and you can be prepared against certain problems that could occur by making sure that you understand your homeowners’ insurance policy and what it covers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States there are 128,000 hospitalizations and approximately 3,000 deaths due to food-borne illnesses every year. Most of these are the result of contamination that occurs during the handling and preparation of meals.
This should be a reminder to be very careful this holiday season when handling the various foods that you’ll be serving, taking extra care not to bring raw meat such as turkey close to anything that won’t be cooked. Furthermore, you should also make sure to use a meat thermometer this year and make sure that your turkey reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.
Failing to do this could result in a lawsuit from one of the people you least suspect. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association executive director, Carole Walker, “If a guest gets sick as the result of the Thanksgiving feast you prepared, it’s possible that you could be liable.”
Some states also have a “social host liability” law, which means that if one of your guests partakes in a little too much Christmas cheer before getting behind the wheel, you may also be liable for any crashes that occur.
For this reason, you should take special care to go over your homeowners’ insurance and make sure that accidental food poisonings and other similar misfortunes are covered by your policy. Try to make an extra effort to prevent problems, too. Some of the following may be all you need to stop harm before it happens:
• Ask guests about any food allergies
• Offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverage options
• Clean and cook food properly
• Keep sidewalks clear, salted, and lit