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The other weekend I participated in a rite that undoubtedly was repeated thousands of times across the country. While eating out, everyone in my group of friends questioned whether they could risk ordering their favorite breakfast food — eggs over easy. Overhearing the conversation, the waitress at this restaurant tried to allay our fears with, “We don’t get our eggs from those farms,” and then instructed us to order what we wanted.

The recent salmonella outbreak involving millions of eggs is just the latest in the seemingly never-ending debate about the quality and safety of the American food supply. From chicken pot pie to pretzel dogs to imported prosciutto, the recalls have become almost a way of life. Sometimes the recalls are voluntary, but sometimes they are mandatory. Regardless of the scope of the problem and the action taken, injury allegedly caused by tainted food results in ripples of damage and injury that adjusters are left to unravel in the end.

When a tainted product is revealed in the media, the damage allegations tend to escalate. The product may be recalled, or claims for sickness or damage may arise. At this point adjusters enter the picture, asked to decide whether there is insurance coverage and, even if there, is, the issues and exclusions that may be involved in settling the claims.

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