People, Places & Events

    Food manager certification classes now being offered
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Statistics indicate that foodborne illness continues to be a health issue in the United States.
Each year, one in four Americans will become sick, one in 1,000 will become hospitalized, and 5,000 will die due to a foodborne illness.
During the past legislative session, a statute was amended that allowed the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to require each food establishment to have one certified food manager.
Recently, the Texas Board of Health adopted rules to implement this statute.
Many of you have already received a letter from the Texas Department of State Health Services regarding this.
Under these new rules, each food establishment permitted by the Texas Department of State Health Services must have one certified food manager.
New food manager certificates will be valid for five years.
Texas Cooperative Extension, Henderson County, is offering a food manager certification-training course.
This program will be offered for $89 Thursday and Friday Feb. 15 and 16 at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex third floor.
Cost includes training, materials, and the state food manager certification examination.
This program is designed to not only prepare foodservice managers to pass the certification examination; it will provide valuable education regarding the safe handling of food.
Almost 50 cents of every dollar Americans spend on food is spent on meals prepared away from home.
Therefore, careful attention to food safety will help keep customers safe and satisfied.
Foodborne illnesses are estimated to cost thousands of dollars in lost wages, insurance, and medical bills.
With these statistics, knowledge of how to prevent foodborne illness is essential.
The benefits of improved food safety include:
• increased customer satisfaction
• improved relationships with health officials
• prevention of bad publicity and law suits due to foodborne illness
By attending the course, foodservice managers will learn about:
• identifying potentially hazardous foods and common errors in food handling
• preventing contamination and cross-contamination of food
• teaching and encouraging personal hygiene for employees
• complying with government regulations
• maintaining clean utensils, equipment and surroundings
• controlling pests
Following simple food safety practices can prevent Foodborne illnesses.
For more information about the Food Manager Certification Training course of Texas Cooperative Extension, called “Food Safety: It’s Our Business,” call Kristin DeLong at (903) 675-6130.
Important Dates
• Wellness in Texas Master Volunteer program kicks off Friday Jan. 12.
For more information about how to become a master volunteer, please contact Kristin at the Extension Office. There are opportunities for everyone!
• The Do Well Be Well with Diabetes program will begin on Tuesday March 6.
The classes will be held for 5 Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Come to learn about managing diabetes through healthier cooking, managing prescriptions, handling glucometers and much more!
The classes aren’t just for people with diabetes. Come to find out how to help.


VNA holds grief support group
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–The Visiting Nurse Association of Kaufman County (VNA)  will be conducting a five-session support group called ”A Grief Shared” for adults who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
The group will meet Mondays, Jan. 22 and 29, and Feb. 5, 19 and 26 at the First Missionary Baptist Church, 603 W. Walnut Street in Kaufman. The meeting time is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The support group will help individuals experience the safe environment of a supportive and caring group, gain an understanding of the grief process, learn healthy coping skills, and broaden awareness of resources and support systems available for continued growth. There is no cost to attend the group.
Additional information can be obtained by calling Clayton McCord, VNA Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator, at (972) 962-7500 or 1-800-345-0576.
VNA of Kaufman County is a nonprofit homecare organization that provides home health and hospice care in Kaufman and the surrounding communities.

Pet Talk An easy guide for house training
Special to the Monitor
Joan B. Guertin

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–An easy guide for house training
With Christmas behind us, many are looking for easy ways to house train the new puppy or dog. Regardless of age, the following method has worked for me for many years.
• Don’t allow a new dog or puppy to have free run of the house!
It is important to house a new family member in a smaller space such as a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room during the day, so that the pets’ natural inclination to keep its “den” clean, will kick in.
• Sleep the pet at night or for naps, in a dog crate (kennel) that is large enough for it to stand up and turn around.
Dogs of any age will want to keep its living space (den), clean. Make sure that the kennel (den) is in an area where you can hear the dog if it is restless or begins whining. This generally is the first signal that there is discomfort due to needing to go outside.
It teaches the pet that you are on duty and will follow through and take it out to relieve itself.
• Remember that any pet needs to eliminate immediately upon waking from a nap or a nights’ sleep. Make getting the pet to the proper door for a trip outside, the first priority.
If it is a young puppy, avoid mistakes by carrying the puppy outside. A large puppy may need to be on a leash to make the trip from crate to outdoors without error. For very small dogs or puppies, the owner may choose to use the potty papers, which is fine, just make sure that the pet knows where it is going to go to eliminate.
• When you arrive at the door, use a cue word such as “outside” to let the pet know that you want it to go out.
If using papers or potty pads, the cue word might be “go now or potty.”
When going outside, choose a place for the pet to relieve itself. I generally will choose to direct the pet to a spot away from walkways, porch or play areas for children.
A simple wire or wood fence area can even be erected to enclose the pet while it does its business.
Although, I like to teach all of my dogs to eliminate while on a leash as it cuts down on the sniffing and makes it easier to walk the pet when traveling or in our case, when at dog shows.
• Once the pet has done its business, lavish both praise and reward with a yummy treat. Since most dogs and pups really do want to please us, and they love treats, soon they recognize the wisdom of doing their business quickly so they get their rewards and our approval.
Another option, for people who work out of the home and have to leave a pet in an enclosed indoor area all day, the easiest plan is to paper or box train.
• In a smaller room such as a bathroom, hallway, kitchen or even a fenced enclosure in a heated garage, spread newspaper over the entire surface. At one end place the pets bed, (crate, if desired), food and water. At the opposite end, furthest from the “living space”, place a box with a 2” lip, and at least 3' x 3' for a very small pet and 4' x 4' if a larger pet. Cover entire surface with paper.
At first the pet will eliminate anywhere, however it will be going on the paper surface and not on the floor. As it figures out how to keep its space clean, you will find the puddles and piles further and further away from the “living” area.
When replacing the papers, put clean papers from bottom up in the area where you don’t want the pet to eliminate.
Only replace the papers on top in the box so that soon the pet will gravitate to that scent and you can eventually eliminate the papers in between.
I have used this method for many years to box train all of my Corgi puppies prior to letting them go at 10 weeks of age.
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April’s Pet Place in Seven Points will sponsor Joan for two Saturday morning workshops for new puppy owners in January.
Contact her at (903) 432 3642, to reserve a spot on either Jan. 13 or 20. Get help in solving those annoying puppy problems such as biting, pulling on clothes, jumping, house training, barking and walking on a leash.

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
ABOVE–My name is Conner. I am a beautiful male DLH grey beauty. I am very affectionate and seem to get along well with others. I was brought in by animal control so I have no history. I am a very sweet boy looking for a great home. ABOVE–My name is Ruff. I am a beautiful male Rat Terrier mix. I am a vocal young man. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I am a beautiful boy looking for a wonderful home.
ABOVE–My name is Garfield. I am a beautiful male orange Tabby. I get along great with other cats. I am very playful, very loveable and very lazy also. I am your average wonderful playful cat. I have been fixed and have my rabies shot. I am a very loving boy looking for my forever home. ABOVE–My name is Fudge. I am a beautiful older male Chocolate Lab. I walk well on a leash and seem to get along well with others. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control so I have no history. I am a very gentle, very loving boy looking for a wonderful home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesdays. Holiday Hours: Closed Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 1.