ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s best not to take any chances with you or your family’s health in the wake of the recent power outages.

That’s the message from Donna Duberg, assistant professor with the Biomedical Science Lab at St. Louis University.

She suggests pitching any pre-cooked foods or even salads that have been sitting in a warm refrigerator for hours or even days, and that’s not all.

“Anything in the refrigerator that’s open already, obviously mayonnaise, but you might even think about mustards, ketchups, anything that says ‘refrigerate after opening’ on it means to do that exactly,” she says.

Prof. Duberg says there’s one other very important action to take after an extended outage.

When this is done, after you pitch your stuff, you really need to clean your refrigerator. So when the power comes back on you need to make sure you wash it out probably really well with soapy water and then rinse it,” she says.

She also recommends using baking soda paste mixed with some water to clean off the rubber seals to wipe out bacteria and mold.

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