Styrofoam is a common material used in the food industry. It’s cheap and easy to use but it has some drawbacks that can be avoided with proper care. Microwaving Styrofoam is a common practice among people who want to save money. It seems like a great idea at first, but there are some serious downsides to microwaving styrofoam.
Styrofoam is a type of plastic foam that is used in many different applications. It is commonly used in packaging, insulation, and other types of containers. The most popular brand name for this product is “styro-block.” This particular brand was created by Dow Chemical Company back in 1938. Since then, they have been making improvements on their original formula. Today, you will find several brands of styrofoam available online or in stores.
It’s not always bad to put Styrofoam in the microwave, but be careful because some foams are worse than others. Some health professionals have raised concerns about the compound in Styrofoam called styrene, which is found in many types of foam. This compound has been linked to cancer in some studies. Some manufacturing substances that are not meant to be eaten can be sneaked into meals when microwaving some types of Styrofoam.
The FDA makes foam containers from microwave-safe Styrofoam. All polystyrene containers with a microwave-safe label have been tested to make sure they are safe to use in microwave ovens. When preparing food in a Styrofoam container, it’s important to check for this label, as containers without it are not guaranteed to be safe. If you don’t check the label, you could be putting harmful chemicals in your food.
We can’t always control the take-out containers given at restaurants, which is why it’s important to avoid materials that are harmful to the environment. If you are going to pop your leftovers in the microwave, make sure your container is microwave safe by taking an extra second to check the label. It is better for your food to be safe than sorry. The food can be transferred to a microwave safe container.
There are two different types of foam containers on the market:
This most-common type of Styrofoam is not safe to microwave. The material is stable during normal use. At high temperatures, it starts to melt or break down. If there is no visible damage to the foam, a microwave oven can cause it to break down, potentially releasing toxic chemicals into your food. Styrene is harmful to your health and reproductive system.
This kind of foam is made up of small bubbles inside a clear polymer matrix. These bubbles allow air to escape during heating, so the foam doesn’t get too hot. Traditional Styrofoam is usually white or light gray in color. It comes in various sizes and shapes. Most traditional Styrofoam products come in boxes, cups, bowls, plates, trays, etc. They also come in bags and rolls.
These kinds of Styrofoam are designed specifically for cooking purposes. They contain less volatile compounds like styrene, which means they won’t release these dangerous fumes if heated in the microwave.
Few types of Styrofoam pass FDA requirements to be microwave-safe. The alternative material is constructed with safer materials and has better stability when heated.
Check the packaging for a clearly spelled out message. It’s up to you, whether you want to play it safe or microwave it. If you see any sign of damage to the Styrofoam when you take it out of the microwave, discard the food and container. If there are cracks in the foam or if it has already been microwaved, avoid microwaving it.
- If your styrofoam container is not microwave safe, you can reheat the food in a glass or ceramic microwave safe.
- If you want to cover food in the microwave, you can use paper towels, wax paper, or a combination of the two. Don’t use plastic wrap on food as it could melt during the heating process.
- Any plastic containers that are cracked, scratched, or microwaved can cause harm to your food.
- Don’t use food containers if you’re not sure of their microwave safety. By reading labels and being attentive, you will be able to enjoy the convenience of microwave heating while still keeping you and your family safe.
- To completely eliminate the risk of exposure to polystyrene, use these methods to cook food.
- The food should be microwaved on a non-Styrofoam plate or in a bowl and then reheated with a damp paper towel.
- The food can be reheated in your oven using an oven-safe container covered with foil.
- Sprinkle a little water on top of the food in the skillet to keep it from melting. This works well for pizza.
- Reheat soups and stew in a saucepan.
- Follow general food safety guidelines, such as heating to an internal temperature of at least 165F and never rewarming food more than once.
You have now learned whether to microwave styrofoam or not. However, one thing remains constant – all Styrofoam contains some form of toxic chemicals. So before buying anything, make sure you read the label carefully. Also, don’t forget to follow proper disposal procedures after usage.