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Safe Microwave Containers
Q Is it safer to microwave food in glass bowls than in plastic ones?
A Probably, especially if you’re of the “better safe than sorry” mindset. Some 2,000 chemicals can be found among the plastics used for food storage, says Ned Groth, a food safety specialist for Consumers Union. While some have been thoroughly tested for storage and heating safety, many others have not.
Two types in particular have raised red flags: bisphenol-A (BPA), tentatively linked to hormonal problems in animals, and plasticizing chemicals, high doses of which have been linked to liver damage and cancer in animals and people. BPA is found in clear, hard plastics, such as those in—of all things—baby bottles, while plasticizers turn up in plastic wraps used to package cheese and meat in delis. (They’re not present in the cling wraps sold for home use.)
You can avoid these bad actors by sticking with plastic dishes labeled “microwave safe.” But if you’re leery of the many other chemical compounds in plastics, it’s simple to switch to glass or ceramic dishes, which contain no questionable synthetics. And definitely avoid using things like old yogurt containers in the microwave; they weren’t made to be heated and are likely to melt into your meal—which could be dangerous as well as distasteful.
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