Fairview School to celebrate 

International Walk To School Day

Fairview School will join schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day, which is Oct. 2. Approximately 800 students from Fairview School can walk to school Wednesday with parents, teachers and community leaders.

The event will begin at 7 a.m. with kids, parents and community leaders walking from adjacent baseball fields up to the school. Walkers should arrive at the baseball lot between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Walkers will be escorted along the trail to the school by Western Carolina University athletes.

Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The event is designed to build connections between families, schools and the broader community.

The event is being organized by Jackson County Schools, Fairview School and PTA, N.C. Highway Patrol, Sylva Police Department, Southwestern Planning Commission, WCU Athletic Department, School Health Advisory Council, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, FedEx Bryson City, and Safe Kids Jackson County. Last year nearly 500 students participated in the event.

For more information, contact Anna Lippard at 587-8225 or visit www.walkbiketoschool.org or www.saferoutesinfo.org.

Steps you can take to prevent 

food poisoning

Foodborne illness, sometimes called foodborne diseases, foodborne infection or food poisoning, is common, costly and preventable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million Americans get sick annually from eating contaminated food. Food can be contaminated with a variety of germs including bacteria, viruses, parasites or toxic substances, including chemical toxins or natural toxins. During Food Safety Education Month, the Jackson County Department of Public Health encourages the community to take steps to prevent food poisoning.

Start by following four simple steps at home to keep food safe – clean, separate, cook and chill.

• Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often.  Make sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food and before eating. Wash your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water as well.

• Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate your food. Raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs can spread germs to ready-to-eat foods unless you keep them separate. Do so by using separate cutting boards, keeping these items separate in the grocery cart, and keeping these items separate in the refrigerator.

• Cook: Food is safely cooked when the internal temperature gets high enough to kill the germs that make you sick. Use a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Visit www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html for a detailed list of foods and temperatures.

• Chill: Bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature. Never leave perishable food out for more than two hours (or one hour if it is hotter than 90 degrees outside).

When not eating at home, take time to check the inspection scores of restaurants, markets and other establishments. Registered environmental health specialists are required to inspect these establishments, working to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

If you or someone you know needs to report a possible food illness from a restaurant or other establishment in Jackson County, call 587-8279 to speak with the communicable disease nurse  To report a problem at a particular restaurant or other establishment in Jackson County, call the Environmental Health Section at 587-8250 or 587-8253.

Learn to prevent rabies in honor 

of World Rabies Day

Rabies is a virus that affects the brain. This virus is usually passed from animal to animal but can be passed from animal to person.

Know that while the virus is serious, it is 100 percent preventable. In recognition of World Rabies Day on Sept. 28, the Jackson County Department of Public Health and Jackson County Animal Control would like to remind the community of important steps to keep you, your family and pets safe from this virus.

• Visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats and ferrets.

• Never touch unfamiliar or wild animals.

• Avoid direct contact with stray animals as they may have not been vaccinated against rabies.

• Make sure your trash cans are closed tightly and don’t leave pet food out to avoid attracting wild animals near your home.

• If you or your pet is bitten by a wild, unfamiliar, or stray animal, call Jackson County Animal Control at 586-6138.

To learn more about rabies prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies/prevention/index.html or call Jackson County Animal Control at 586-6138.