This is your Cancer Cop and Microwave Safety is the topic of today!
Last time we talked about the many myths and mysteries surrounding the microwave. The bottom line is that microwaving can be a safe, quick and convenient way to prepare healthy foods. However, the health and safety of the microwave depends on you only cooking food in safe containers, as well as making healthy food choices.
Microwaving for Health and Safety
Of course, EVERYONE knows to avoid aluminum foil in the microwave. But what many don’t know is that the containers they cook in might be leaching chemicals into their foods.
To avoid harmful chemicals, follow this rule: only use cookware that is specially manufactured for use in the microwave oven. Glass, ceramic containers, and all plastics that are safe to use will be labeled for microwave oven use.
Below is some examples of containers that are safe to use and not safe to use.
SAFE TO USE:
- Any utensil labeled for microwave use.
- Heatproof glass (such as Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, etc.)
- Glass-ceramic (such as Corningware).
- Oven cooking bags.
- Baskets (straw and wood) for quick warm-ups of rolls or bread. Line the basket with napkins to absorb moisture from food.
- Most paper plates, paper towels, paper napkins. For optimal safety use white, unprinted materials.
- Wax paper, parchment paper, heavy plastic wrap. Do not allow plastic wrap to touch food; vent it to allow a steam escape.
- Heat-susceptor packaging.
NOT SAFE TO USE:
- Cold storage containers: margarine tubs, cottage cheese, cool-whip and yogurt cartons, etc. (These materials are not approved for cooking and chemicals can migrate into food)
- Brown paper bags and newspapers
- Metal pans (Duh!)
- Foam-insulated cups, bowls, plates or trays (like the kind the restaurant gives you to take your food home)
- China with metallic paint or trim
- Chinese “take-out” containers with metal handles (another Duh!)
- Metal “twist ties” on package wrapping
- Food completely wrapped in aluminum foil (we’re not kidding!)
- Food cooked in any container or packaging that has warped or melted during heating (This would include single use water bottles!)
What To Do!
At my house, we are phasing out the plastic Tupperware containers in favor of glass. We never microwave plastic wrap or other foam containers or any plastic not labeled microwave safe.
On another note, if the plastic is not labeled freezer safe, we don’t put it in the freezer. An even more important point is to look and see if the plastic you use is labeled dishwasher safe. Many reusable water bottles are NOT labeled dishwasher safe. We hand wash those. Apparently there ARE reasons for the instructions on the bottom!
So be microwave smart!
[Reference: For more great information on microwave safety, check out this article.]