Firstly, not all types of plastic material can be microwave. If you are unsure, please follow the manufacturer’s instruction. Most manufacturers will state whether their products are safe for use in a microwave oven. If it is not stated, then don’t!
Having said that, it is important to differentiate between cooking food in a microwave oven and reheating of cooked food in a microwave oven. Most containers are safe for reheating only and not for cooking. Although there are plastics materials specially formulated to withstand the high heat of cooking, such products are hard to come by.
When using plastic containers in a microwave oven, always remember to remove the cover or open it slightly for venting of hot air. Never close the container shut. When food is heated, stream will build-up within the container and this will cause an explosion.
Will the use of such container in microwave ovens cause cancer? No. The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) says it “has seen no evidence that plastic containers or films contain dioxins and knows of no reason why they would.”
Please follow the links below to read more on this topic published by the following institutions.
American Cancer Society on “Microwaving Plastic”
Alabama Cooperative Extension on “No Link Between Microwave Cooking and Cancer, Expert Says”
American Chemical Council on “FAQs: Using Plastics in the Microwave”
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