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Rules for culinary events and liability

  • 26 Sep 2018 7:40 AM
    Message # 6693656
    Michael Dechter (Administrator)

    I sent an e-mail to culinary group members on 9/24/2018 to clarify some sideboards for culinary events, and to clarify information related to the terms of use/liability statement and insurance. I am posting this information here as well to document and improve understanding of these issues.

    AMS involvement and role with culinary events

    The organization has provided assistance to set-up and promote a number of culinary-focused events over the years. Generally our role has been in those two specific areas (1) Facilitate events that involve preparing, cooking, and/or eating mushrooms with a business, and (2) Creating content, sharing, and publishing information about the event to encourage AMS member participation. We have not previously agreed to underwrite culinary events by guaranteeing a minimum amount of participants nor have we provided mushrooms or other food items for businesses to use in meals or other events where a business is charging for food or other services. Unless there is a clear benefit to AMS members for the organization to take on these additional roles and the liability they include, I do not support it. There are many reasons for this. One is that every AMS event in the past several years has included overwhelming participation by AMS members and there doesn't seem to be a need to underwrite events by guaranteeing patronage. It also creates a host of problems if AMS has to guarantee a certain number of participants. For example, a restaurant may choose to modify the timing of the event, limit the potential selection or quality, or make other modifications to the event that would otherwise make it less desirable to customers had the restaurant not had a guaranteed customer base.

    If you have taken on the responsibility to plan an event I would focus on these primary roles of helping get an event fleshed out and then working with Lisa and myself to get the event promoted through the website, e-mails, the facebook group, etc. If you feel there is an absolute need for the organization to make additional steps to have a successful event, it needs to be discussed and approved. If AMS is to underwrite an event and take on financial liability, it will likely require the approval of the board.

    Liability and insurance issues regarding shared food events

    My understanding is that there was some question as to whether insurance would cover AMS members in the event someone gets ill from mushrooms provided by a member for a culinary event whether it be a potluck or a business-based event. To be clear, the insurance is not meant to cover medical costs of someone who may get ill from eating wild mushrooms or legal fees of someone who may be accused of providing toxic mushrooms at an event. There is a rather comprehensive Terms of Use and Liability Waiver at the top of the website ( that makes it clear that by participating in AMS events you are absolving the organization and its members of liability associated with eating wild mushrooms. This would apply to both eating at a restaurant that uses wild mushrooms or eating at a potluck where AMS members prepare and bring their own dishes to share. The language of the liability waiver may be a little dense, but if you read it closely you will see that it does state that sharing mushrooms for consumption at an AMS event (such as a potluck) is done at the sole risk of those persons involved in the exchange.

    Please response to this topic if you have any questions or see any conflicts with these explanations. 

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