Tips on using your microwave safely

Tips on using your microwave safely
Microwaves are one of the most common kitchen appliances and can be found in most homes. Despite this, many homeowners are not always aware of safety precautions they should take when using their microwave, especially when these appliances are accessible to children. Here are some safety tips for family microwave use that you yourself can apply, and instruct family members to follow:

Firstly, when it comes to defrosting food, remember to remove all the packaging from the edible item as melted food wrappers will make your meal dangerous to eat and digest. Foam trays and any thin plastics are therefore not suitable for microwaving.

To defrost your food evenly and completely, cover foods with a microwave-safe plastic wrap or a microwaveable lid. This will also retain the moisture of the product you are defrosting.

If you are unsure whether a container, glass or ceramic dish is microwave safe, check for a label that guarantees it is manufactured for microwave use. If you can not find such a label, the product is not microwave safe and could shatter or crack under high temperatures.

After defrosting items like red or white meat or fish, make sure you cook your food immediately afterwards as the heating up process in the microwave can accelerate bacteria growth on your food, which only gets worse the longer you leave it uncooked.

Most of the injuries related to microwave use are caused by handling hot containers, overheated food items, or are due to skin coming into contact with exploding liquids. Make sure you use an oven mitt to remove microwaved foods after heating them, and keep an eye on whatever you are microwaving to ensure it does not boil over.

When heating liquids, avoid ‘super-heating’ water. Super-heating occurs when water is heated to temperatures beyond boiling point which results in the water exploding out of its container at the slightest movement or disturbance. Finally, avoid placing anything metal inside your microwave as this could cause sparks and a fire. All cutlery and crockery, metal dishes or aluminium foil should not be placed in microwave.