Woman opened the refrigerator and sniffs a container of food

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Napa County warns that during a prolonged power outage, your food may become unsafe to eat and increase your risk of illness. Medications that need to be refrigerated may also become less effective or stop working.

Plan ahead and protect your health during a power outage.

—If you are not certain food is safe, throw it out.

— If you have lost power for a prolonged period of time, discard the contents of your refrigerator/freezer.

— Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.

The decision whether to discard or to save food is listed in the guide, “Refrigerated Food and Power Outages: When to Save It and When to Throw It Out” at https://bit.ly/2xpxiQc

— Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or leftovers) that has been at temperatures above 40 degrees for 2 hours or more (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees).

— When the power is out for a day or more, throw away any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise.

— If a life depends on the refrigerated drug, but the medications have been at room temperature, use them only until a new supply is available.

— Replace all refrigerated drugs as soon as possible.

— Consult your pharmacist with questions about medication storage and maintaining a supply during a prolonged outage.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.