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Insurance Coverage for Food Contamination and Recall Claims Under CGL, Property, and Contamination Policies

Scope of Coverage, Coverage Triggers, Relevant Exclusions and Policy Language Interpretation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss key insurance coverage issues for food contamination and product recall claims under CGL, property, and product contamination policies, the scope of coverage, coverage triggers, applicable conditions and exclusions, and policy language interpretation. The program will address both first- and third-party coverage issues from the perspectives of both policyholders and insurers.


High-profile food contamination claims result first in devastating reputational damage and may be followed by a flood of class actions, shareholder suits, or criminal investigations. Claims result in regulatory investigations, expensive product recalls, and liquidity issues. Product contamination and recall claims impact every brand and business on the affected food supply chain, including farms, restaurants, grocery stores, food processors and manufacturers.

For companies facing food contamination and recall crisis management events, insurance coverage is essential to mitigating losses and the inevitable liquidity crunch. CGL, property, stock throughput, and specialty contamination/recall policies could be triggered for different reasons in a contamination claim and recall event.

Coverage is very fact-specific and highly dependent on the policy language. Counsel for both policyholders and insurers must be prepared to understand the scope of these policies, coverage triggers, relevant exclusions, and applicable conditions to best represent their respective clients in contamination and recall events and litigation.

Listen as our panel of insurance practitioners discusses the key coverage issues in food contamination and product recall claims. The panel will analyze the scope of first- and third-party coverage, coverage triggers, relevant exclusions, applicable conditions, and policy language interpretation under CGL, property, and contamination policies from both policyholder and insurer perspectives.



  1. CGL policies
    1. Third-party coverage for bodily injury
    2. Third-party coverage for property damage
  2. First-party property policies
  3. Direct physical loss
    1. Contamination exclusion
  4. Product contamination policies
    1. Coverage trigger: Is actual contamination required? What about "potential" bodily injury? What is an "error"?
  5. Coverage for preventive recalls
  6. Coverage for adverse publicity


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Coverage for third-party injuries
  • Coverage for first-party damages
  • Coverage issues and challenges for preventive recalls
  • Coverage issues and challenges for damages arising from adverse publicity


Bermudez, Joseph
Joseph F. Bermudez

Stewart Smith Law

Mr. Bermudez handles international and domestic insurance coverage matters. He maintains a special focus on crisis...  |  Read More

Charlton, Suzan
Suzan F. Charlton

Special Counsel
Covington & Burling

Ms. Charlton has represented policyholders in insurance coverage disputes for more than 20 years. Clients trust her...  |  Read More

Garrett, Arthur
Arthur S. Garrett, III

Partner and General Counsel
Keller and Heckman

Mr. Garrett is Co-Chair of the firm’s national litigation practice. His practice focuses on insurance recovery...  |  Read More

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