In most cases, partially-safe PVCs are commonly used for storing yogurts, sour cream and margarine. It has a melting temperature of up to 400 degrees Fanhereit and can quickly attain these temperatures when put in the oven. One key reason is that they contain a compound called styrene, which human and animal studies have linked to cancer (7, 8, 9). Traditional Styrofoam is safe for normal usage i.e. Also, Styrofoam has a toxic compound known as styrene, which has been directly correlated to causing cancer in human beings and animals. Styrofoam egg trays are a common way of encasing eggs used for shipping and packaging, but investigations ensued following the contamination of these eggs back in the year 1991 during an incident. If the container says it's suitable for single use only, do not repeatedly microwave the plastic. Another study has shown that traditional Styrofoam contains a chemical named as styrene. Please see my. Under such high temperatures, traditional Styrofoam compounds may be melted and get leeched into your food. For any heating process, it is important to always check if the … When people say “styrofoam” they usually mean any of the foam-like, lightweight products used to temporarily hold food and drink: pretty simple, right? Styrofoam decomposes at a slower rate, and when carelessly disposed of, animals can consume which can be extremely hazardous. You only want to be eating food, not pisces of melted styrofoam plastic as well. When microwaving, always use containers that are labeled safe for such use. The material is synonymous with plastic, and therefore found its way into the food service industry. Recently, most US cities have banned people from using Styrofoam because of the effects it poses on the environment and peoples’ health. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You may want to avoid risk and simple transfer your food to a glass or ceramic container to heat in the microwave; as the old adage goes: better safe than sorry. Some Styrofoam containers are marked as microwave safe. Posted on September 4, 2020 By: Author Joshua Bruck. It refers to a type of polystyrene foam that’s commonly used in the building industry (1). Microwave safe Styrofoam is designed in such a way that it will not melt or break down at high temperatures. Styrofoam, also known by generic name polystyrene, is a type of plastic that is made of expanded polystyrene beads. How to Safely Cook Instant Ramen? This article provides instructions…. Styrofoam is only a brand title for a polystyrene foam that was originally designed for construction insulation. Remove food from any packaging that isn't microwave-safe--such as styrofoam trays or some plastic containers--before heating. Styrofoam and Microwave Ovens: A Bad Duo Styrofoam is a type of polystyrene foam explicitly designed to insulate. For decades now, people have been utilizing microwaves to heat food in styrofoam, thus easing their work around the kitchen. you can use it as a storage container for food to transport from one place to another. It also has lower levels of dangerous toxic compounds inside it. If you don’t see any symbol indicating that you can use it, just don’t use it. Avoid microwaving polystyrene containers that do not have a microwave-safe label, as their safety cannot be assured. Meat is a staple food that's rich in nutrients, but how you cook it matters a great deal. It is strong and resilient to heat to a greater degree. Compared to the traditional variant, microwave-safe Styrofoam is made with safer, better, and less hazardous chemical compounds. Microwaves are a household staple, but some people question their safety. Identifying the symbol is easy, the logo is wavy lines looking like a microwave. The major problem with the Styrofoam is it is affected by heat. Even if you expose a microwave-safe Styrofoam containers to extremely high temperatures inside a microwave, there won’t be any problem as such! It’s important to safely handle and store all types of meat. While styrofoam is microwave safe, do not use it in the oven. This new version of Styrofoam is microwave safe to a certain extent. That’s because polystyrene containers contain a compound called styrene, which has been linked to cancer. The first type is traditional styrofoam, which is a product name for products made out of polystyrene. Styrofoam is a type of plastic, and toxic chemicals may leach out of these products into the food that they contain especially when exposed to heat. Rest assured that this type of material is not suitable for high temperatures,especially inside a microwave. High heat or prolonged exposure to heat can make the Styrofoam to melt or break. Although it may be safe to use styrofoam and other plastic containers marked microwave-safe, you must be very careful to vent your food and be sure not to burn it. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Not all Styrofoam is created equal; some Styrofoam containers are microwave safe while others are not. The vast majority of Styrofoam containers sold and distributed across the world (including coffee cups, Styrofoam plates, and take-out containers) are more than likely not microwave-safe. It’s specifically designed to withstand high temperatures so that it won’t catch fire or melt inside your microwave. Sometimes numbers 1, 2, and 4 can be safe, but the best bet remains to be 5. Articles are written by food experts, chefs, home cooks, and me. This article reviews whether you can microwave styrofoam, if doing so is safe, and precautions you can take. If you don’t have one, heat the water in the microwave with some ... Bottom Line. I am a formally trained professional chef with great. But, do not worry anymore as there is a safer and better option for you, for example, microwave-safe Styrofoam. Microwave Ovens and Health: To Nuke, or Not to Nuke? How to Safely Reheat Leftovers: Steak, Chicken, Rice, Pizza and More, Why ‘Eco-Friendly’ Fast Food Takeout Bowls Might Be Unhealthy for You, Meat Safety: Storing and Handling Meat, Poultry, and Fish. Conversely, avoid putting polystyrene containers without microwave-safe labels in the microwave. It is hard to do away with Styrofoam utilization as they remain the most reliable and cost-effective way of packaging takeout and serving food on the go. However, the dangerous thing is using those that aren’t certified as microwave-safe. Can You Boil Water in the Microwave, and Should You? All rights reserved. “Styrofoam in microwave should only be considered safe when there is a label on it that says so. While the food-grade Styrofoam has been designed to work with microwaves, it is not much able to withstand heat. That’s because — Styrofoam is a synthetic material and it contains a variety of toxin compounds that may break down and mix into your food when exposed to high heat of the electromagnetic radiation process. It is crucial to ensure that they are not fake. Can You Microwave Coffee In A Styrofoam Cup? If the Styrofoam passes the FDA review, there will be a notification on the material that is safe for microwaving. Before a plastic container is deemed as microwave safe and is granted a microwave safe symbol, numerous tests are conducted to measure the amount of … *This post may contain affiliate links. If the container says it's suitable for single use only, do not repeatedly microwave the plastic. This type of packaging could melt or warp, potentially causing harmful chemicals to leach into food. 1. However, the composition of the traditional Styrofoam containers will melt and break down when it is exposed to high temperatures. Polystyrene is a plastic product that’s made from, among othe… According to documents published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, polystyrene begins to decompose at around 200°C, while pure styrene begins to decompose around 175°C. If you are concerned about heating food in a polystyrene container, here are some tips to help you microwave food safely: The above tips may help you microwave or reheat your food safely. Styrofoam is incorrectly used to refer to polystyrene foam containers that are commonly used to serve warm beverages and food. Articles are written by food experts, chefs, home cooks, and me. The high temperature … In addition, when foods or beverages are microwaved in containers made from polystyrene or plastic, substances used in manufacturing may leak into the food. Hello! Additionally, styrofoam is highly flammable and can quickly explode when used in the oven. Is the radiation used by these ovens safe for humans? For containers known to be heated, manufacturers structure their Styrofoam in such a way that it prevents or reduces the release of toxins. To give you a straightforward answer, Styrofoam is not completely microwave safe. Most people utilize Styrofoam as plates, beverage cups, or takeout foods. However, due to health concerns, you may wonder what types of containers are best when it comes to microwaving your foods and beverages. This makes it a possible health hazard to heat any type of food in a microwave inside a container made from Styrofoam. This website is full of easy and practical tips on defrosting, cooking, melting, reheating, or just about anything else you could do with a microwave. This article leads you to the safety concern about Styrofoam usage, recommended types of Styrofoam, and tips to microwave Styrofoam safely,. Use containers with safe symbols. Microwaves have been around for decades and are known for making kitchen work — namely heating food — much simpler than it was in the past. Nothing at all. Just because some kinds of plastics are unsafe to use in the microwave doesn’t imply that you’ll never use your microwave again, you will still need it for many cooking conveniences. 2. The microwave-safe recycling code is number 5, and the unsafe are 3, 6, and 7. When reheating your dinner in a microwave safe styrofoam container, avoid heating it up at high temperature. Environmentally, the containers do not decompose easily and are difficult to recycle. This especially applies to fatty foods, such as meats and cheeses (10). Is it destroying the…, Does eating microwave popcorn actually cause cancer and other health problems? In fact, some countries have banned it altogether due to the purported risks of Styrofoam especially when it is being used as a food container. Microwaves warm up the food that transmits the heat to the styrofoam container. Styrofoam is a term that’s trademarked by The Dow Chemical Company. Be very cautious when utilizing the partially-safe plastics, that is numbers 1, 2, and 4. This website is full of easy and practical tips on defrosting, cooking, melting, reheating, or just about anything else you could do with a microwave. Use only containers, lids, and wraps that are microwave-safe. I am a formally trained professional chef with great recipes, ideas and strategies. There are two general types of styrofoam out there, with an important difference. However, containers with a microwave-safe label have been tested and shouldn’t pose any styrene-related risks. Want to be the first one to receive the new stuff? My name is Joshua. However, it’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates plastic and polystyrene containers, cups, and plates and tests their safety and use in microwave ovens (11). Is it Safe to Microwave Styrofoam? Extensive test on the materials to make this new type of Styrofoam has been done to ensure that whatever chemical that leech out is still safe to our health. The triangle is usually located below the plastic, and it has arrows. There is some concern about microwaving polystyrene foam containers. Also, animals may mistake them for food and eat them (3, 5, 6). This way, there’s less chance of leech into the food it holds.” Let’s get back to the question of whether it is safe to microwave Styrofoam. It is used not only in packaging food and beverages but also in house insulation, to keep homes nice and cozy. Plus, they also come with the microwave-safe labeling that is approved by the FDA guidelines. Therefore, it is crucial that you don’t utilize PVCs with numbers 3, 6, and 7 while microwaving food. Materials used to make Styrofoam (EPS) are not recyclable, which further contributes to its banning and unaccepting. When these toxic materials get mixed in your food, it may cause a variety of health concerns that should be avoided. However, some are chemically reinforced to withstand heat, making them microwave safe but not for long durations or high temperatures. But for that, you need to follow these important safety tips: Select microwave-safe styrofoam cups to reheat coffee in the microwave. Look on the bottom of the container to quickly verify whether or not the styrofoam is safe to use in the microwave. The FDA approves these containers, and they are often labeled as such. Even after using this type of polystyrene on a microwave, it will remain cold, indicating how strong and effective it is to use when microwaving foodstuff. If the logo is not present, then a label stating the words “microwave-safe” should be present in its place, however the symbols might vary depending on the manufacturer. Yes, but look for plastic containers that are specifically marked “microwave safe.” Avoid single-use or disposable plastic containers that might melt or leach chemicals into food. But how can you utilize it without causing any health threats to your life? Look for a microwave safe symbol or label that guarantees the product is microwave safe. These containers are popular because they’re cheap and act as a good insulator, meaning they keep foods and beverages warm. The best way to know is to read the packaging of the container and see if it reads “microwave safe.”. Always ensure to utilize microwave-safe polystyrene products when heating food. This site is owned and operated by Joshua Bruck. Boil some hot water in a tea kettle. The best way of staying safe is to read all instructions printed on the packaging. Use the original styrofoam package which contained your food when you bought it Don’t place meat or leftovers in any other styrofoam form that you find in the household Look at the label. Enter your email address below and we'll send you the goodies straight to your inbox. The composition of microwave-safe Styrofoam containers will stay intact and stable at higher temperatures. This is the FDA’s approved way to reassure the foam’s stability under extremely high temperatures. ideas and strategies. From a health perspective, they contain a compound called styrene, which has raised some concern, as it has been linked to cancers in animal and human studies (7). That being said, there are certain precautions that should be followed when heating food in the microwave. How to Know that I Can Microwave Food in a Styrofoam Box? If you don’t see any indicators that show that your container is microwave safe, don’t risk it, as the risks far outweigh the benefits. Microwave Popcorn Causes Cancer: Fact or Fiction? This article reviews the healthiest ways to cook meat. The number inside that triangle indicates the plastic-type and if its microwave-safe or not. For example, it can affect your reproductive system since these toxic and synthetic materials are not good for your health. The good news is you can use polystyrene containers to microwave food and drinks only if they labeled as microwave-safe. With the above negative effects of Styrofoam, many individuals are still on the dilemma of using them.
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