Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekly Trivia on Plastic: Microwave Use

Smeg microwave
How safe is food plastic container to use with microwave? Check out some of these facts about plastic containers and microwave and their love-and-hate relationship.

·         At least one thing is clear: not all plastics are created the same. Always check the type of plastic a food container. It is normally indicated at the bottom of a plastic container. Whether it is PET (1), HDPE (2), LDPE (4), etc. and whether it is safe for use with microwave for heating. If it is, there should be something that writes: “microwave safe” or imprinted symbol of microwave on the container.

·         Round plastic containers are better in microwave than the rectangular ones. Why? Because it heats food more evenly. In square or rectangular food containers, the dish placed at the four corners of the containers tend to get overcooked and dried before the rest of the food is fully reheated.

·         If using plastic wrap, make sure it doesn’t get into contact with the food and that it’s wrapping loosely. The wrap is good to trap heat and moisture inside the container to make food cook faster and more evenly, but NOT when it’s in direct contact with the food and melted. Leave at least an inch space between the food and the plastic wrap.

·         There has been hoax going around the internet for some time now that all plastic containers are not safe to use in microwave because they could release dioxins. In short, dioxins are toxic compounds that could be created by combustion with very high temperature – more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Microwave doesn’t generate heat this high. Typically foods that are fully heated and cooked in the microwave are about 212 degrees Fahrenheit when taken out of the microwave.

If you have doubts about using food plastic containers in a microwave before, now you shouldn’t worry anymore. Certain plastic containers that are marked “microwave safe” are indeed designed to use with microwave. They won’t melt or leach toxic materials to the food you’re heating that could endanger the people who eat it. Just make sure you are using the right microwavable plastic container and follow all instructions from the microwave manual and the food container label.

Happy microwave cooking!


Also check out the video we post on how to reheat food using plastic container in microwave properly.

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