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Processors foresee increase in food safety claims: Survey

food processing

Nearly three-quarters of food processing leaders expect an increase in food safety claims, but fewer than half have internal risk management teams in place to handle insurance issues, according to a law firm’s survey report released Wednesday.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they foresee a jump in claims, but only 43% say they have internal risk management teams and only 57% review their policies annually, according to the survey of 100 agribusiness officials conducted in February by Kansas City, Missouri-based law firm Lathrop GPM LLP.

The survey also found that 46% of respondents have filed more than 10 insurance claims in the past year; 36% have taken no steps to pursue coverage when claims were denied; and 29% said they rely on internal resources to dispute coverage denials.

“Taken together, the survey results point to an industry that largely remains in reactive mode — where the majority of food processors have not invested in internal risk management or engaged outside counsel in anticipation of encroaching risk on food safety, workplace rules and other mission-critical issues,” the report said.