Foreign object claims, though less severe, are very frequent within the restaurant industry. It is also a claim that frequently has some element of fraud related to it whether regarding the presence of the object or the severity of the damage that it caused. As such, your employees and managers should be well versed on what information to collect when this type of claim is presented. These are the key items to consider when responding to an allegation of foreign object:
1. Document carefully all aspects of where the object is found: understanding where the object was found is key both to your loss control and subrogation attempts. For instance when there is an allegation of hard object in a sandwich, if the object is in the meat, then you may need to subrogate against the meat producer. If this information is not timely obtained, it will decrease options.
2. Document where the object can be found: if you can secure the object yourself this is best. However, some claimants may not want to relinquish the object in that case it is prudent to both document through photos and by encouraging the claimant to retain the object and present to a reliable third party such as the adjuster.
3. Walk through and batch check: you should make a good faith effort to walk through your premises reviewing for sources of the object. In addition, batch-check any other similar food items to ensure no other foreign items are present. These should be documented so that this can be used to defend against the claim if found to be suspicious of fraud.
With this information your carrier will be well equipped to determine veracity of the claim and transfer responsibility for the risk to the appropriate party.