I am experimenting with offering various personal services to guests who stay at my cabins: transportation from airport, personal horseback riding lessons, massages that can be done at the cabin and prepared dinners that can be heated upon guests' arrival, such as gourmet dinners prepared by a personal chef. This chef is concerned that if a guest gets sick, the chef will be sued. I never even thought about it. Does anyone else have experience with offering food that has been prepared and is kept frozen or in frig until guest arrives to heat up? Should I be concerned with liability for food poisoning?
I wouldn't provide any foods that are not commercially packaged and safeguarded from spoiling. In my opinion, that would include any foods you might provide from a chef or prepare yourself, such as baked goods to welcome guests. These are lovely gestures but could be problematic.
Does the chef have facilities, licensing, and insurance to safeguard against any issues that might arise? I dont' think you should reocmmend any services that may not be compliant with whatever regulations may be in place in your community. I agree with johndingo, you would need to find out what your liability could be in recommending the chef to your guests in case of any adverse reactions to the food.
I can totally see how preparing food by your own personal chef could put you (or your chef) at risk. The only way I could see you doing this would be to make sure your chef is insured and preparing under the proper licensing regulations.
You have to think of the worst-case scenario with this and consider what would happen if someone did in fact get sick and sue.
What we've done is offer meals prepared by a local grocer to be reheated. Publix, for example, has a whole range of meals they prepare and sell refridgerated. They come packaged ready to heat with specific directions on how to prepare for meal time.
I would stay away from something like that and stick with some pre-packaged stuff, if you are going to leave a little welcome basket out. We do various things from Costco like Nature's Valley bars, mixed nuts w/ M&Ms, oatmeal packets, microwave popcorn, pack of gum, chips, canned juices, etc.
It may not be as 'custom' as home-baked goods or whatever, but it still has the same surprise wow factor for the guests that were not expecting anything at all and ensures a great first impression for the vacation home.