The microwave oven has become an essential appliance in modern day kitchens. The domestic device is quite convenient, but is it safe to microwave number 6 styrofoam?
Well, to give you a straightforward answer — the number 6 Styrofoam is not completely microwave safe, but it all depends on certain factors.
Number 6 styrofoam is a common disposable product used for takeout meals, to-go leftovers and also as a serving plate at the occasional family buffet. So, here comes another question – can you use number 6 Styrofoam inside a microwave?
Please note that microwaving #6 Styrofoam is not recommended unless the container is marked as microwave-safe. Microwaving Styrofoam may not always be bad, but it can expose you to potential health concerns and issues.
Is it ok to microwave Styrofoam?
Most of you often use a microwave when it comes to reheating, cooking, and even defrosting a variety of food options. However, there is a problem! You can’t use all types of materials inside a microwave oven.
Since a microwave oven uses electromagnetic radiation techniques to generate heat, it imposes a strong restriction on the type of material you should use inside it. That’s because — not every material can withstand this electromagnetic radiation and the subsequent heat that is generated through the process.
Needless to say, Styrofoam can be synonymous with plastic foam material. It’s cheap and easily available. It has versatile usage and is considered to be a popular material for food containers which is mostly used by restaurants and fast-food outlets.
Consider a situation when you have bought restaurant food and it comes in the Styrofoam containers. You must now be wondering whether you can directly place these containers inside your microwave? If yes, then you will get all your queries answered in this article.
Is microwaving Styrofoam bad?
Styrofoam is a synthetic material that contains a blend of toxic compounds that may melt, warp or leach harmful chemicals into your food when introduced to high heat inside a microwave.
Please note that there are both traditional Styrofoam and microwave-safe Styrofoam, so risks can be reduced when the proper type is used.
Traditional Styrofoam is safe for storing and transporting food. However, the it will melt and break down when it is exposed to high heat inside a microwave.
Microwave-safe Styrofoam is a safer and better option compared to the traditional. Microwave-safe Styrofoam is designed to withstand high temperatures.
Look for containers labeled with the microwave-safe tag so that you can confidently proceed with heating leftovers in the kitchen appliance.
Can you safely microwave Styrofoam?
Yes, you can safely microwave Styrofoam if the container is marked as microwave-safe. The product will be labeled on the bottom to prove the material is safe and tested for microwave usage.
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of Styrofoam. Since the traditional Styrofoam is hazardous and not suitable for microwave, many restaurants and food establishments have switched over to using the microwave-safe Styrofoam version.
Exercise caution and beware of cheap-quality traditional Styrofoam variant that are not recommended to use for microwave. However, the labeled and tested version is surely safer, and you can use it inside a microwave oven without a second thought.
Tips to Microwave #6 Styrofoam
There has always been confusion about the usage of number 6 Styrofoam in microwaves. Are you also facing a similar dilemma?
Well, you are requested to check this section to overcome your confusion and learn the right tricks of using #6 Styrofoam for microwave ovens.
Here are a few tips to use when microwaving #6 styrofoam:
- First of all, before placing any container, it’s always recommended to check the label. The label will clearly indicate whether it’s safe for microwave or not. The same logic holds applicable for #6 Styrofoam as well. If you find a number #6 Styrofoam container that is having the microwave-safe label, then you should not worry anymore! These types of containers are definitely meant for microwave usage.
- Secondly, you should rely on your experience. If you have noticed that the Styrofoam material has started melting down during the microwave process (despite having the microwave-safe label/tag), then it’s recommended not to eat that food left inside the Styrofoam container. That’s because — it has already contaminated your food during the microwaving process by mixing its core synthetic materials.
Microwaving #6 Styrofoam: Final Thoughts
If you are trying to figure out whether number 6 Styrofoam is microwave safe, then please take a quick note about two types of Styrofoam materials currently available in the marketplace, such as traditional Styrofoam and microwave-safe Styrofoam.
Of course, traditional Styrofoam is not allowed to use in microwaves. You can use it as a food storage container but never heat it directly inside a microwave. The composition can not tolerate the electromagnetic radiation process and the generated temperature.
That’s why you are recommended to use microwave-safe Styrofoam that is perfectly ideal for usage inside a microwave oven. These types of receptacles are tested, labeled and meant for microwave use.
So as long as the container is properly labeled, then please feel free to use them when it comes to reheating food kept in a microwave-safe #6 Styrofoam.