Cake makers and bakers – does your contract limit your liability for allergies and intolerances? Should it? Can it? How does it do this? You don’t have a contract….? Read on (but take a peek at this solution…..)
Cake makers and baker can’t simply deny that you hold any liability to customers who may have allergies – a blanket ‘I’m not responsible for anything. Anywhere. Anyhow.…’ just doesn’t cut the mustard – if you excuse my food analogy.
Let’s get back to basics – you have a contractual obligation to provide what you agree to bake with your client, and duty of care to the people who buy your products to ensure they are safe and to be clear about what they contain. This is particularly true if you offer services that claim freedom from certain types of ingredient – or you are specifically instructed about an allergen that needs to be avoided, and you agree to take the customer’s order on.
Here are our top tips for cake makers:
- Set out clearly what you are contracting to provide – if that’s gluten free, or vegetarian then say so. Cake makers and bakers, please write down what you are told about allergies or intolerances – have a specific question, even if the answer from your customer is ‘no’. You can show you have investigated it.
- If you are told about a potential problem – ask more. Write down the answers – again, its evidence.
- If there are limitations on how sure you are about your ingredients, then be clear. If your kitchen uses nut products or you also bake gluten goods for example, it’s probably wise to say so.
- Have a written contract. If you need a template, you can buy one of ours on line …Have a good clear liability clause in your contract. You cannot by law limit your liability or causing death or serious injury, so your contract should state that fact, and not reference any financial limitation to your liability – such as your Public Liability cover.
- Make sure, however, you have adequate insurance in place – get a broker to advise if not. We know a really good one, so email us for info.
- Take advice about labelling and declaring what you use: you can check the food safety regulations with the Food Standards Agency website
With our very special thanks to www.rubylouscakeco.co.uk for allowing us to show their fabulous work in this blog, and credit to photosbylanty.com for the photosgraph used with permission.