In September, healthy eating and food may become a low priority. Are you super busy now? An intense work schedule would make you forget about minor things. Your kids, family, job or business opportunities are on your mind. Can you microwave plastic containers? Now, you would prefer to eat fast, on the run. If you haven’t got time to relax, don’t get put out. Cooking delicious, healthy food beforehand and reheating it fast is easy. Your useful appliance is at hand. So are your lightweight, easy-to-handle containers. Are they safe? It depends on their quality and the type of plastic. Let’s discuss the opportunities and limitations right now.
Fall Nutrition Needs and Challenges
After your vacation, you might be busy, primed to job opportunities and tasks. Long working hours and commutes make you tired. Additionally, your children come back to school. They spend there 5-8 hours per day, studying mandatory and optional subjects. Getting healthy, nutritious food several times a day is a must.
Sometimes, your kids eat at the cafeteria. The National School Lunch Program operates in numerous institutions. Would you prefer to give them healthy food from home? Your favorite bento box for kids meets the target. Anyway, it’s great to hold cold foods, like:
- diary products;
- sandwiches and healthy snacks.
Are your little ones picky eaters? They might prefer their favorite homemade dishes. Besides, variety in food options is always beneficial. These meals would meet your seasonal nutrition needs. In September, hydrating, healthy foods are preferable. Later, when it gets colder, your diet is a bit different. It is to help you and your kids to keep your energy levels high.
What Affects Your Eating Habits?
Early fall is commonly pleasant and warm. In Saint Louis, it’s still pretty hot and sunny. Fortunately, the weather is not hazardous here. But high temperatures are in the 90s. So, you might need to adjust your diet. Now, you still have to drink a lot of water. Fruits and veggies with high water content are beneficial.
Your most becoming containers for freezing soup are always essential. Cold, seasonal dishes like Gazpacho are refreshing. In a couple of weeks, your eating habits change happens. A cold spell sets in, altering your metabolism. You’ll need to consume more comfort foods, like:
- broth-based, vegetable soups;
- winter greens and citrus;
- fatty fish, like salmon;
- cruciferous veggies, like broccoli.
Processed red meat and pastries like T-ravs seem to be nutritious. Consume them in moderation. How long can you freeze ham before it goes bad? Even in summer, it remains safe and edible. Divide it into small portions and pack properly. In an airtight container, it doesn’t dry out. A heavy-duty, sealed freezer bag also keeps it fresh for up to 6 months.
How Can You Tell if a Plastic Container is Freezer Safe?
Versatile and flexible, these vessels withstand cold temperatures with ease. Top-quality ones are scratch-resistant and sturdy. Moisture or numerous bumps and drops to the floor don’t damage them. Don’t you believe it? Commonly, polymers are prone to staining and melting at high temperatures. But not all products are the same.
First of all, they are to be:
Harmful phthalates are to be absent for sure. Is abs plastic food safe? Sturdy, durable, impact-resistant items have a lot of benefits. Standing out by excellent strength and hardness, thermoplastics are beneficial. They suit multiple applications, including construction, plumbing and refrigeration.
FDA and USDA approve thermoplastics as food-safe materials. It means their short-term contact with food is not harmful. However, PVC plastics contain phthalates. Their surfaces may leach harmful chemicals into your food. ABS plastic doesn’t withstand exposure to sunlight and heating well. If the temperatures exceed 165 degrees, it would release toxic chemicals or gases.
If you need more information about whether is it safe to freeze food in plastic containers, read on!
Can You Put Plastic Containers in Microwaves?
A lot of perfect, products consist of polymer or synthetic materials. Bento boxes are colorful and cute. Coming in attractive designs, they let your little ones stand out of the pack. Additionally, they are pretty durable and functional. Several compartments available let you separate the snacks.
At home, airtight containers are useful. They suit freezing, storing, and reheating small portions of soup. Holding from 2 to 4 cups of liquid food, they are handy and versatile. Which ones would you select to use?
Only food-safe containers are acceptable. The list of suitable materials includes:
They are BPA-free and non-toxic. Use them for keeping your healthy food fresh. But freezing temperatures may impact the initial properties of polymers. Cold makes them brittle, not durable enough. So, only the freezer-safe plastics and products suit the application.
Extreme heat exposure may become dangerous. Can you microwave plastic soup containers? According to the MHO organization, microwaving is a safe practice. But not in terms of the polymers. Microwave-safe plastics are usable. Polypropylene suits the application. It withstands heat better than other plastic types.
What Happens if you Microwave Plastic?
Synthetic polymers are popular and useful materials. Above all, they are lightweight, space-saving and affordable. Besides, plastic packaging benefits the food industry and market. It enables safe supplies from farm to table. Flexible, and durable products make our household tasks easier.
But when it goes about heating, polymers are troublesome materials. They soften even in direct sunlight. Degrading and deformation may happen. If you use unsuitable or low-quality plastic products, they might:
- heat up quickly;
- warp or deform;
- start melting;
- release potentially toxic chemicals.
The reason is most plastics have a comparatively low melting point. Can you put plastic wrap in the microwave? It shrinks up promptly, contaminating the air in your kitchen. The film is too thin to withstand heating. You might buy it in your local grocery store. Is it more durable and leak-proof than paper sacks? I would doubt it. The thickness that is not more than 0.0005 inches is deficient. Meanwhile, the term may refer to a number of different materials.
Is It Safe to Microwave Plastic Takeout Containers?
Disposable paper soup bowls or cups don’t meet the goals for sure. Some of them are comparatively heat-resistant. You may use them to transport hot soups or beverages. The application doesn’t require reheating, as you should consume the food immediately. In a microwave, the paper may catch on fire.
Plastic wrap or film is no better. It protects various food items efficiently. Covering liquids or greens in containers, it keeps them fresh for some hours. What is the film material? You should read the label on the roll carefully. Above all, LDPE film is much safer. Besides, its short-time use doesn’t harm human health.
Saran plastic wrap might become harmful. Consisting of PVC material, it clings to the surfaces easily. Its melting point that is about 167 ºF is too low. Additionally, it’s not completely food-safe for the application.
Can you microwave black plastic containers? Plastic takeout vessels are nonperfect. Commonly, they consist of styrofoam. What is it? This type of polystyrene is highly flammable. It melts at 212 degrees, catching fire in a romp. Burning or heating up, styrofoam produces harmful toxins.
How Can You Tell If a Plastic Container is Microwave Safe?
Top-quality plastic vessels are preferable and exclusive. Lightweight, stackable and airtight, they make your household chores easier. How to distinguish them from the other products? Check the label or recycling symbol on the bottom. It may look like:
- wavy lines;
- letters PP;
- number 5;
- the word “micro”.
Triangle is a recycling symbol, referring to the type of plastic. It determines its composition and use. Thus, polypropylene is comparatively safe. It withstands heat well, featuring perfect stability and chemical resistance.
What about the other plastics? Number 1 or PET bottles seem to be safe to contact cold liquid foods. Polyethylene terephthalate is a perfect material. It’s lightweight, moisture-resistant and transparent. Manufacturers commonly use it to pack soft drinks like soda, water and milk. At room temperatures that are around 70 degrees, it’s safe.
One of its types, APET suits only cold food storage applications. CPET withstands high temperatures up to 375 degrees. This opaque and crystallizable material is suitable for microwave usage.
How Long Can You Put a Plastic Container in the Microwave?
Types 2 and 4 are halfway safe. They include low, medium and high-density polyethylene. At low temperatures, these vessels remain impact-resistant. Flexible, or strong and sturdy, they are useful in your daily routine. These plastics withstand cold and freezing temperatures (up to -110º F) well.
Quite naturally, HDPE and LDPE plastic items are freezer-safe. Low temperatures don’t impair their strength and durability. In the microwave, they won’t melt. These polymers are resilient to high temperatures. Thus, you would heat these containers to 160-180 degrees, at most.
2-3 minutes of microwaving are commonly enough. Styrofoam or plastic wrap withstands only 30 seconds of reheating. This way, you can serve your vegetable dishes or soups. Food safety rules by USDA are strict. So, your sturdy polypropylene containers are preferable. They are:
Polypropylene doesn’t absorb water or leach harmful chemicals into your delicious soups. Additionally, these sturdy containers withstand boiling well. The melting point of polypropylene is up to 340 degrees. So, these vessels are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Video Review: How Can You Tell If a Plastic Container is Microwave Safe?
Are you going to buy a new set of food storage containers? During their first weeks at school, your kids may need new supplies. Colorful and functional bento boxes help them to diversify their lunches. Which products to prefer? Consider their designs, sizes and functionality. Airtight, reliable, easy-to-use options are beneficial.
Don’t forget to check the material or composition. The label or symbol on the bottom reveals the secret. Both freezer-safe and heat-resistant plastics exist. They let you store your healthy dishes as long as you wish. Defrost and reheat them easily, at a whim. If you are busy, in a hurry, it’s easy and convenient. Don’t worry about any health risks or issues. The label on the bottom is a reliable manufacturer’s guarantee.