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Equipment & Gear: Microwave Safe Containers
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Corsair
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Microwave safe....real;y Reply with quote

I have purchased Chinese made ceramic plates and bowls at Target that are listed as Microwave safe. However the cookware heats up too hot to touch while the food remains barely warmed. Is this really microwave safe or have they just put on the label. Who checks to see if it is really safe. The cookware changes to a new style every few months, so the old cookware can not be tested by the seller.
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jackmac22
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: food grade plastic containers Reply with quote

Another inexpensive source for food grade 5 gallon buckets is your local donut chain, such as Dunkin' Donuts. They often receive their fillings in the buckets which they discard when empty since it is not worth the labor expense to clean and reuse them. We used to get them for a couple dollars each. It's extra income for them and it reduces their waste stream. You have to wash them, of course. But you would also wash any new food container before use.

One caution about storing grains in plastic containers. If you have a rodent problem, put the plastic containers in a galvanized trash can. When we raised chickens we learned the hard way that even the heavy duty Rubbermaid Roughneck cans don't slow the rats down.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Larry, Microwaves can be used to kill microorganisms but the food would have to be kept at boiling temperature for at least ten minutes to do so. Any food that had been microwaved for ten minutes after it had reached 210 F would be pretty uneddible


Katy, how do you explain the fact that flash-pasteurization -- which involves heating foodstuffs to 71C/160F for 6 seconds -- is often performed using continuous-flow microwave ovens?
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crasscrockery
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My great grandpa has been microwaving his food in plastic containers since he was a wee lad and he's ok...
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Umar
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject: Does it mean plastics cannot be used to store food at all? Reply with quote

Based on all I ve read in this forum, does it mean plastic containers cannot be used for storing food at of any sort at all? Most portable food storage containers are made of these plastics and if these things are unsafe then wont it be wise for the FDA to halt the production of these unsafe ones? Millions of people around the world dont even know about the unsafe nature of these plastics and are using them. Please could anyone also tell me about the nature of the danger these plastics pose? what are the likely specific health problems do they cause? No one is saying.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umar -

there are folks who get upset about a lot of things, don't worry to much about facts or real science, they hear something and immediately set about spreading the word that the sky is falling.

one can of course subscribe to the conspiracy theories that big [pick a name / business] has paid off the FDA, the USDA, along with every other world government agency, to 'suppress' the real dangers of "fill in the blank" - there's a lot of things touted as candidates for the blank.

one of my favorites is: canola oil will kill you - it's made from rapeseed - which in the mustard family - that's what they make mustard gas from! google mustard gas and see what it is really made from.

Bisphenol A has demonstrated health concerns in infants - hence the banned in baby bottle thing.

arsenic is toxic - no one debates that as "true"
one molecule of arsenic will not harm you.
ingesting many molecules will.

>>Please could anyone also tell me about the nature of the danger these plastics pose?
>>what are the likely specific health problems do they cause?

search engines will turn up all the information you every could need. just use your own brain and consider the source and science behind the claims.

>>No one is saying.
that should tell you something.
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Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Microwave Safe Containers Reply with quote

Question, do microwaves pass through pyrex glass unattenuated? Can a pyrex glass cover be used to prevent microwaved foods from splatering all over the microwave and still heat the food safely?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill -

short answer is "yes" - heat proof glass tops are fine.

glass may become hot - that's heat conducted from the food itself and/or steam generated - but glass all by itself does not "heat up" due to microwaves. passing through anything will cause some attenuation - but it's very minor compared to the degree water absorbs microwaves.
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guest
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Chinese plastic containers and plates from Target are likely melanine. I don't believe you're supposed to use that in the microwave. I've experienced them bubbling the cracking when heated too much.
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Glenda
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: microwavable containers Reply with quote

Everyone ignors the fact that microwavable dinner plates over time get extremely hot without heating the food. Everytime this question is asked someone will say it is the food heating the plate...Wrong....I believe repeated heating in the microwave breaks the plates down or the combination of the dishwasher and microwave do it. We reheat leftovers fine on our dishes when new and over time (a few years) the plates and bowls are no longer usable for the microwave. I have bought dishes from different manufacturers and it doesn't matter. I'm looking for new dishes now. I cannot heat soups in my bowls because it will not heat the soup just the bowls. I have to use corning and then put into my dishware which makes the benefit of less work moot.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

microwaves preferentially absorb by bi-polar molecules - water being the common example.

"glass" is a crystalline lattice, and (with a few exceptions) exhibits low bi-polar composition.

"plastics" - somewhat undefined - but yes they can contain bi-polar molecules which will heat up quite nicely via microwaves.

there is no "legal" definition to "microwave safe" - it is a marketing term that indicates the container will not "fail" when exposed to microwave energy. it does not mean the container will not get hot.

for example: "Pyrex" - which is a flavor of annealed boro-silicate glass - will heat up in a microwave. the boro-silicate composition makes for low expansion coefficients - which makes it microwave safe because when subjected to (relatively even) heating it does not break all too easily. the annealing process allows the molecules in the glass lattice to align - that makes 'stronger' but also it a bit on the bi-polar side, which is why it will get hot.

experiment: take a one cup pyrex measuring cup, fill it half (4 fluid ounces) with water, zap it in the microwave for 1 minute. use your finger to determine the temp difference between the "top" with no water) and the bottom (with water) - use care not to raise blisters on your fingers....

the top is warm, but noticeably less 'warm' than the bottom - some heat has indeed transferred from the water to the glass and up the sides. if you've got a more recent microwave oven that can running "empty" you can just put the empty measuring cup in and you'll notice it gets warm.

a microwave plate that gets hotter than the food simply means the Made-in-China of Who-Knows-What plastic is more readily absorbing the microwave energy faster than the water in the food.

"Corning Ware" is a bit problematic - from reading, the "Corning Ware" brand name was sold - not made by Corning Glass anymore, nor under their license or control. essentially a situation of "brand" made in China from who-knows-what to "no specifications applied" - if you've got 15 year old Corning Ware, you're golden. the new stuff may not live up to one's expectations.


Last edited by Dilbert on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Guest
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:20 am    Post subject: 'Plastic' Container (Cups) Recycle Codes and Microwave Ovens Reply with quote

Read some where and have passed it on by word of mouth several times that a number '5' or higher in the three wide mobius arrows found on the bottom of many (most) coffee cups and the like (The resin coding system introduced in 1988 by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI)), correlates to the container being 'microwave safe.' Research suggests this is true but I don't find it 'advertised.'

Comments/concerns?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's the list of SPI id's and what they mean:

http://www.scn.org/~bk269/plastics.html

the number is - per that article - not a good guide to safety in the microwave.
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Anonymous Coward
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Nuclear power plants and petroleum Reply with quote

Distilling petroleum is a complicated process. It requires more than just heat. Generally, it requires the facilities of a petroleum refining plant; there's a reason for distillation towers, cat crackers, and so on, plus the associated infrastructure. You can't just "heat up a vat" of petroleum and get anything except hot petroleum.

I have to assume that the OP mentioned nuclear power plants in order to make his story scarier to the average person. That "detail", however, which is not only contrary to logic but seems to exist nowhere else, throws the credibility of the whole post into question.

I do find it a little weird that it was posted on "Cooking for Engineers". But in any event, no, nuclear power plants aren't in the petroleum-refining business as a sideline.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never mentioned nuclear power plants. Please don't judge Cooking For Engineers based on what random people on the internet choose to leave as comments.
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