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Bear vs. Germs: Inspections Hit Wall St.

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Even masters of the universe can be laid low by spoiled milk. An e-mail circulating around Bear Stearns reveals that an April 2 inspection of the in-house cafeteria found 42 health-code points violations—almost double last year’s number, which clocked in at a disrespectable 24 points. (The average violation-point total for restaurants is 13.) Among this year’s violations: milk or milk product undated, improperly dated, or expired; food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage; personal cleanliness inadequate (clean garments and effective hair restraint not worn). “We take all inspections very seriously, are proud of our track record, and made every effort to immediately address any concerns,” says a Bear spokeswoman. Bankers seem unfazed. “I hardly ever eat there anyway—since I’m working all hours,” said one. “Lunchtime is the only time I get to see the light of day.” Bear passed a reinspection the next day.

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