Keeping food safe during and after a power outage

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Sunday's storm has left more than 20,000 people without power in Lynchburg and the surrounding areas. Power outages may leave many people wondering about the safety of the food in their refrigerators and freezers.

According to Dr. Scott Spillmann, the health director of the Pittsylvania-Danville Health Distrcit, the longer food is left in unsafe temperatures, which is above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, the greater the chance for dangerous bacteria to multiply and make you sick.

Spillmann recommends "when in doubt, throw it out." He says to never taste foods to make sure they are still fresh as most bacteria is tasteless and odorless. Spillmann says to throw away food that have been in temperatures greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. Also, if the refrigerator has been without power for more than four hours, the food inside could be dangerous.

It is recommended that you keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible when the power is out. A full freezer, however, will keep food safe for around 48 hours.