Is It Safe To Microwave Food In Plastic Containers? The Answer.

October 20, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | Style

We’ve all been made aware, at some point, of the fact that plastic shouldn’t go into the microwave. If you heard that and never really second-guessed it or asked WHY, the answer is that flimsy or “one-time use” plastic containers like yogurt containers will actually warp and melt in the microwave, which causes the chemicals to release in to your food. Trust me–you don’t want that.

READ MORE: Once And For All, This Is Why Plastic Water Bottles Are So Bad For You

But what about more durable plastics–like Tupperware containers or children’s plastic plateware. How can you tell which types of plastics can go in to the microwave, and which cannot? Is there a rule of thumb for determining this? And, what’s the *worst* thing that could happen if you get it wrong?

Well, to start, plastic items that are safe to put in the microwave should be marked as such because the FDA closely regulates which plastics pass certain microwave tests. Check the bottom of the bowl, plate or container–does it have a symbol that looks something like this? Does the packaging that the container came in give any indication of whether it’s safe to use in the microwave or not? (They also usually indicate things like whether they are safe for the dishwasher. If you see the dishwasher symbol, but not the microwave symbol–don’t use it).

READ MORE: We Asked A Doc: What’s The Deal With Dairy Being Bad For Your Skin?

Specifically on the topic of Tupperware–they are specific Tupperbrand brand product lines that are microwave safe: including the TupperWave Stack Cooker, Rock ‘N Serve, Vent ‘N Serve and CrystalWave. The same should go for an competing storage container brands or off-brands–just go to the brand’s website and search for which lines are microwave safe.

READ MORE: Are Makeup Counter Makeovers Really Bad For Your Skin?

Lastly, if you’re concerned about whether getting any of this wrong will *kill* you–the answer is probably not. In 2008, Good Housekeeping did a test with 31 containers, lids, bags, wraps, and liners. They microwaved food in the containers, then tested the food for plastics additives. The results were very reassuring–almost none of the food contained plastic. While you should make your best effort to follow the FDA’s guidelines for safe microwaving, you don’t need to lose any sleep about it.

READ MORE: Are Nail Salon Massages Bad For You? The Answer.

[Photo: Shutterstock]


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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