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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 26, 2022


Revenues at the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic have soared this month as a result of increases in fees collected for food handler cards, according to clinic administrator Dioni Anthony.
In the first two business days after health inspectors closed five Cruz Bay establishments on Feb. 4 for a variety of health-related reasons, the clinic received 132 new applications for food handler cards. "On those two days we did 80 percent more than we regularly do," Anthony said.
She said the increase in food handler revenues along with other fees taken in brought in a total of $6,000 for the two days. By comparison, "In January we did $5,000 for the whole month," she said.
On Feb. 4, inspectors from the Health and Planning and Natural Resources Departments paid unannounced calls on four restaurants, a bakery and a gourmet market on St. John. One passed muster. Two of the five businesses closed by order of Health Commissioner Wilbur Callender were cited for workers lacking food handler cards.
The action was taken on a Friday, so corrective action could not be taken until the following Monday, Feb. 7. According to Keating Clinic records, a total of 163 St. John restaurant workers applied for cards between Feb 7 and Feb. 14.
To obtain a validated card, an applicant must pay an annual fee of $46.50 and is supposed to undergo and pass a series of tests to screen for communicable diseases.
A manager at one St. John restaurant told the Source that employees from that establishment who applied for cards last week were told that the required tuberculosis test wasn't available. "Why do we play for a test we don't get?" this individual asked.
Clinic chief nurse Charlene Jones confirmed Wednesday that the tuberculosis test commonly administered to food service workers was not available last week and still is not.
Anthony, who as financial manager handles purchasing at the Keating Clinic, said, "The tuberculin ppd is a skin test." She said supplies are on order, "and we have a shipping date of Feb. 21."
Those individuals who have recently picked up their food handler cards without having taken the t.b. test will have to return to the clinic for testing once supplies arrive, she said.

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