Storm victims need to be vigilant about avoiding tetanus and mold, and protecting food safety

As storm and and flood cleanup continues, Kentuckians need to be vigilant about tetanus, mold and food safety, the state Department for Public Health warns.

Regarding tetanus, the DPH recommends avoiding contact with flood waters, which can be a risk for contracting the disease for people who have open wounds.
Mold can develop in homes that have been flooded, but air conditioners or dehumidifiers can help prevent mold growth, the DPH advises. When cleaning affected areas, wear safety goggles, rubber boots and waterproof gloves. In areas of heavy mold growth, a respirator or suitable mask is advised.
The DPH recommends removing all items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and cannot be dried or cleaned. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces using cleaners, soap and water or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Severe cases should be cleaned by experts.
When it comes to food safety, a full freezer will keep its temperature for 48 hours. A freezer that is half full will maintain its temperature for 24 hours. Refrigerated foods are safe as long as the power is not out for more than four hours. Any perishable food that has been above 40 degree for more than two hours should be discarded.
Freezer and refrigerators should be cleaned with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water. (Read more)
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