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Media Cafeterias Specialize in Ratatouille

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SUSPICIOUSLY CLEAN Condé Nast cafeteria

Fancy new cafeterias that keep employees from leaving at lunchtime are all the rage among Manhattan media companies. But Bloomberg's workforce would be well advised to order in rather than risk their lives in their shiny new eatery.

Inspectors from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene found seven separate violations during a visit to the Bloomberg cafeteria last month. The offenses, which included undated or expired milk, severely dented cans, and insufficient refrigeration for cold foods, earned the facility a total of 55 violation points—way above the city-wide average of 13 points. (Facilities that receive more than 28 points are required to pass a follow-up inspection.)

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Other media companies have fared better on their most recent inspections, though almost all were cited for lapses of one sort or another. The cafeteria in the new Norman Foster-designed Hearst Tower received 24 violation points, with citations for improper food temperatures, inadequate food storage, and poor lighting.

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