Another reason to cook at home

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Eating at restaurants has to be one of the biggest wastes of money ever invented. It's not that I don't like the food. I love having someone else make a meal of my choice for me. It's just that the cost makes it such a bad deal, especially when I do the math on some of the fabulous meals I've made at home.

If the cost of eating out isn't enough to make you stay home, maybe the thought of dirty restaurants will? In 2007, 37% of the restaurants in Milwaukee had a critical health code violation. What's "critical" you ask? Oh, just little things like cockroaches, mold, and generally unsanitary conditions.

The delicious activities in the restaurants included: kitchen workers using utensils more than once to taste food, coughing and sneezing over food, dirty equipment and cookware, mouse droppings on dishes, lack of soap and water for washing hands, and food kept at dangerous temperatures.
And here's the best part: Most diners have no idea that a restaurant has been cited for violations. In Milwaukee, restaurants are inspected only about once a year, despite a federal recommendation that they be inspected at least three times a year.

Do you think that these violations are just coincidences? That the restaurants are otherwise clean but just had a mishap on the one day that the inspection occurred? I doubt it. And I don't know how soon I'll be able to eat out again, thank you very much.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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