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22nd May 2018

Ever wonder why you should never reheat plastic takeaway containers?

A lesson for all of us!

Denise Curtin

We are all guilty of reheating leftover Chinese in it’s plastic container.

But we think we are going to reconsider that move in future after reading a new study from the Harvard Medical School.

In a feature they published entitled: “Microwaving food in plastic: Dangerous or not?”, they stated that many plastic containers can actually leak toxins when they are reheated which in turn can be hazardous for your health.

They suggest that you double and triple check all your plastic containers including Tupperware to make sure it has been tried and tested as “microwave safe”.

They also state that reusing plastic takeaway containers that are “scratched, or cracked, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticisers”. These plasticisers contain phthalates which when ingested can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system

In conclusion, they study states some safe practices to follow when microwaving to avoid health risks and potential fires.

The list is as follows:

  • If you’re concerned about plastic wraps or containers in the microwave, transfer food to glass or ceramic containers labeled for use in microwave ovens.
  • Don’t let plastic wrap touch food during microwaving because it may melt. Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, white paper towels, or a domed container that fits over a plate or bowl are better alternatives.
  • Most takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubs or jars made to hold margarine, yogurt, whipped topping, and foods such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard are not microwave-safe.
  • Microwavable takeout dinner trays are formulated for one-time use only and will say so on the package.
  • Old, scratched, or cracked containers, or those that have been microwaved many times, may leach out more plasticizers.
  • Don’t microwave plastic storage bags or plastic bags from the grocery store.
  • Before microwaving food, be sure to vent the container: leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover.