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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Microwave- friendly utensils

The microwave oven is convenient, but not everyone knows how to use it safely.
November 29, 2012
By: Sylvia Tan
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Microwave- friendly utensils -- PHOTO: HEMERA PHOTOS

Every home may have a microwave oven, but I now realise that not everyone knows what utensils can be used in a microwave.

A friend who has a microwave oven in her new home called me to ask about microwave-friendly equipment.

Recently, I also found my helper putting a gold-rimmed plate with food in the oven to reheat it.

I used to think that anything aside from metal utensils is fine.

Metal is generally out because they deflect the microwaves and may spark and cause a fire.

But now I have discovered that even paper and plastic can be dangerous - the former because it can catch fire; the latter because chemicals found in the plastic can leach into the food.

The bottom line: Choose utensils labelled "microwave-safe".

Even glass or ceramic dishes meant for the microwave oven have to be marked "heat proof" or "microwave-safe" (check for this on the bottom of the dishes).

Otherwise, conduct a microwave-safe test.

Fill a measuring cup or bowl made of heat-proof glass with one cup of water.

Place this cup or bowl into the dish to be tested - if the dish is large enough - in the microwave oven. Otherwise, place the cup or bowl by the side of the dish.

Do not pour the water into the dish.

Set your microwave oven on high heat and microwave the dish and cup or bowl for one minute.

If the dish is warm or hot after heating, it is not microwave safe.

If the dish is cool and the cup or bowl of water is hot, the dish is microwave-safe.

And if you are in the habit of reusing those plastic frozen food containers, margarine or ice-cream tubs, do not.

They are meant for one-time use only. Discard them and never microwave food in them. The chemicals found in them may leach into the food.

Indeed, even when using plastic wraps to cover food while microwaving it, be sure not to let the plastic touch the food while heating it - for the same reason.

The microwave oven is convenient, but you need to know how to use it safely.

Sylvia Tan

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