Originally Posted by pmanzi
Right, basically I am just a hired hand. They are getting all the food donated to them from a Sysco vendor I will just be cooking it on their site. The school they are putting the event on for has insurance for the event so is it safe to assume their insurance would cover me as well?
No one should engage in the food business without being incorporated as a legitimate business. Without being incorporated you and all of your assets owned by you and your family are up for grabs in a lawsuit. Incorporating separates you and your personal assets from those of the recognized corporate entity. In a lawsuit they can sue the corporation but cannot come after you unless you blatantly caused harm as an individual.
Also note that a hired hand can also put you at risk, as you are considered to be making a profit.
Secondly if you are using your own equipment to cook with, many states view this as a sub-contractor status where YOU alone are responsible for all of your permits, licenses, and insurance.
In fact if something goes wrong and you can be named as a co-defendant as the food was cooked on your personal equipment.
If you are planning on catering this event, even for a friend you should be aware of laws and the risks involved. By ignoring them and not investigating the legal requirements for this event you are putting yourself at great risk. Ignorance of these laws and regulations are not a defense, in fact it will just help to build a stronger case against you should something go wrong.
First: Will you be operating within State and Local, and Health Department rules and regulations? Do you have a business license, food handlers permit, and do you prepare the food in an approved and inspected commercial kitchen?
Second: Do you have proper insurance? Yes the school has insurance, but it only covers their employees. Most schools that host events require a rider policy from your insurance company to protect them if something goes wrong.
Be aware that without these two primary items being covered you are taking a huge huge risk both personally and financially.
Too many risks and not enough rewards. What legal ramifications are you willing to endure should this become an issue of someone getting ill? Trying to sneak past the "government" can lead to too many bad things. Not a risk anyone should ever consider taking.
How much of your personal assets are you willing to risk due to food-borne illness issues should they occur? Or if someone claims they became ill sometime after eating your food. If a civil suit is brought against you because of these claims, you could lose your home, savings, and your investments.
My intent is not to discourage you, but to point out the possible ramifications of this type of event without the proper incorporation, "coverage", "licenses", and "permits".