It’s a fact that most dishes and plates have microwave-safe characteristics. It’s also evident that you may find yourself dealing with ruined meals or dinnerware by not using the right container.
Nevertheless, you should be extra cautious when microwaving containers and dishes.
That said, you should check whether the container in question is completely microwavable or partly microwavable.
Does it get hot when using it to microwave food, or the microwave waves don’t alter it by any means? Perhaps you should check if it has a microwave-safe label before using it!
So, what is the microwave safe symbol?
The microwave-safe symbol has three wavy lines placed above each other, three squiggly lines inside a microwave symbol, or the #5 symbol appearing on plastic vessels. If your plastic container doesn’t have a microwave-safe label, don’t microwave it, as it might leach chemicals into your food. The microwave-safe labels should guide you on which containers to use in the microwave and which ones not to.
This article will try to help you to recognize the different microwave-safe symbols and highlight the best plastics and materials suitable for microwaving. It will also answer frequently asked questions concerning microwave safe labels and everything to do with common symbols.
Microwave Safe Symbol
Some containers are microwave-safe, whereas others are not. So how do you differentiate a microwavable container from a non-microwavable one?
The tips below will help you know which one is safe for microwaving and which one is not:
- Check for containers that have labels underneath.
- Most microwave-friendly items comprise a few curvy lines underneath.
- If a container is labelled “pp” and a triangle numbered “5”, it signifies it is microwave-safe.
- The label CPET is another sign that something is microwave-safe. You can easily find them in ready-made stuff.
- The symbol APET indicates that something is not microwave-friendly. Though their uses include packaging foodstuff and recyclable, they are risky for warming and preparing food.
- Styrofoam or polystyrene are not good for microwave use as they will easily melt if heated, and most people use them for insulation. They are good at keeping food hot, but microwaving food in them can be risky.
- Paper and similar products like paper plates and cups shouldn’t enter the microwave as most contain glue, seals, coats, and these components can leach into food.
What does microwave-safe mean?
Microwave-safe best explains temperature, which signifies that the elements used in making the container can’t get hot. It relates to how the microwave manages to warm food.
The microwave vibrates and produces heat via friction to heat water molecules. So, the microwave depends on water molecules to enable it to heat, and in the absence of water, heating cannot happen.
Moreover, microwave-safe signifies that the vessel contains less water. Subsequently, this will prevent the vessel from heating up, and the food will absorb all the energy. Cups, plates, containers, bowls, and any non-microwavable item may comprise elements like plastic or metal that might not be microwave-safe.
Ultimately, ceramic and glass are viewed as microwave-friendly materials. And pots made from borosilicate glass have special qualities as they are oven and microwave-safe.
And finally, the durability character of microwavable materials simplifies the reheating and cooking process.
What Makes Materials Microwave Safe?
FDA or The U.S Food and Drug Administration has laid some standards and procedures that items must pass to be considered ‘microwave-safe.’ They manage these guidelines using the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD & C).
The body checks items to verify that they are safe for food and can endure extreme heat. Its duties are to evaluate frozen dinner packs, plastic wrap, and microwave popcorn packaging.
Measures like any possible toxicology issues are assessed and must comply with the safe health regulations. Supplies must be considered safe for projected purposes before being sold and used.
Containers That Are Microwave-Safe
Which are the best materials for microwave use and are unlikely to leak toxins into your food? Here are the two best options:
Any ceramic that doesn’t contain metallic decorations like ceramic plates, cups, and bowls are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Microwavable glasses are mostly those containers used for storing food. They are also freezer and dishwasher safe.
These products give you the confidence that they won’t cause fire or leach poisons in your food by microwaving them.
How Do You Know If Something Is Microwave Safe?
To check if your container is microwavable or not, turn the specific container upside down to enable you identify the label underneath. Most containers will contain a sign indicating whether they are microwave-safe or not.
If there aren’t any signs or symbols underneath, and you don’t have another option but the specific container, you should perform a test to gauge whether it is microwavable. It’s a strategy that varies by company and producer, so always ensure you carefully read manufacturer’s instructions.
You need to adjust your microwave to maximum power first. Then put some water in the container you’d like to check, and put it in the microwave. Heat the specific container for roughly one minute and see whether the container becomes hot upon heating.
If the container or cup feels hot or warm when heated, then it’s not microwave-safe. But if the cup or the container is still cool and the water inside is hot, then it is microwave-safe.
What Does Microwave-Safe Reheat Only Mean?
If you notice a reheat symbol in your dish or container, then it is fit to warm leftover perfectly. But don’t use it for cooking food by all means. If your container has the label ‘reheat only,’ you can microwave it using the reheat mode or medium power.
Ensure you reduce the microwave power because high temperatures might melt the container. Some examples are Ziploc bags and Tupperware, which are manufactured with the label ‘reheat only,’ meaning they cannot endure extreme heat used in cooking.
Microwave-safe ensures that the said container is safe, though the sign varies significantly. Some have three or five squiggly lines, whereas some a microwave image.
The curvy lines indicate that you can warm your food comfortably. Essentially, such containers are safe to warm completely thawed leftovers.
Ultimately, you may notice that frozen foods take more time to reheat. It’s recommendable to thaw frozen foods first and then use the normal power settings. It’s a good way of ensuring your food doesn’t dry or overcook from the outside.
Commonly Found Plastics and If They are Safe for Microwave
Some common plastics available include:
1. Polypropylene – Recycled Code 5
It’s a strong heat-resistant thermoplastic polymer. Examples of polypropylene vessels include; plastic cups and baby bottles. They are among the containers ideal for microwave use if you’re fine with using plastic.
2. High-Density Polyethylene – Recycled Code 2
It’s a strong high-density plastic that can endure extreme temperatures. It’s good for making milk jugs, toys, and other items.
It’s not as safe as such, but you can microwave it if there’s a safety label from the manufacturer.
3. Polyethylene Terephthalate – Recycle Code 1
It falls under the polyester family, and it’s widely used. It is good for making food containers, clothes, and plastic bottles.
It is heat resistant, though it’s designed for one-time use; hence should not be microwaved unless it’s protected and hardened with a material that doesn’t allow the plastic to leach into food.
What Does The Microwave Safe Symbol Look Like?
Whereas there’s no any formal microwave symbol, the best part is that it’s somewhat effortless to recognize microwave-safe labels or signs. The majority are labelled curvy lines.
Other times the curvy lines are above the container or dish. Other signs are a rectangle with curvy lines, whereas others are an image of a microwave.
Without symbols, check for expressions like “microwave safe” or “microwavable.” Most microwave-safe containers are also dishwasher safe.
Some Tips for Using Microwaves Safely
Here are some tips to guide you when using the microwave:
- Only use plastic containers with a microwave-safe label.
- Though a container may have a microwave-safe label, don’t use it unless you’re sure the plastic used to make it is BPA-free.
- Avoid using any plastic container that doesn’t have the microwave-safe symbol, even if it looks strong.
- It’s better to use microwavable earthenware or glassware containers rather than plastic. Shun from using plastic in your kitchen activities at all costs.
- When re-warming take-away remains, use a different container from the restaurant one.
- Avoid covering your food with a plastic wrap when heating or cooking using the microwave.
- Avoid putting brown bags or paper bags in the microwave. The bags are coated with glue that melts upon heating and might leach into your food when heating.
Faqs About Microwave Symbol
What Is The Symbol For Microwave Safe?
The common symbol for microwave-safe is wavy lines on plastic, indicating it is a safe microwave. The symbols range from a real microwave with a container to curvy lines signifying radiation. Nonetheless, they all suggest you can reheat your last night’s leftovers safely.
How Do You Know If Plastic Is Microwave Safe?
It’s easy to tell if plastic is microwavable. Check for any microwave-safe symbol on the Tupperware or plastic wrap. The symbol implies that the product is BPA-free, according to FDA recommendations. When microwaving them, they are unlikely to leach chemicals into your food. But plastic wrap should never be in direct contact with your food.
What Does Microwave Safety Mean?
A microwave label usually represents microwave safety. It indicates that the product is unlikely to bend or melt when microwaved. Most importantly, it means that chemicals won’t leach into your food when cooking.
Is Number Six Safe For Microwave?
No, don’t place polystyrene type 6 in the microwave. They are theoretically hazardous and will leak Bisphenol A, a very dangerous poison, into your food. Also, avoid using Styrofoam type 6.
What Does Glass And Fork Symbol Mean?
The wine glass and a fork are international labels for ‘food safe .’The label signifies that the substance used to make the product is safe for food use. Among them are water and food vessels, packaging provisions, and cutlery.
Is Lock and Lock Microwave Safe?
Containers like Lock & Lock are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe. Hence they are convenient for storing, cooking and heating remnants.
Are Ball Mason Jars Microwaves Safe?
Yes, Ball Mason jars are microwave-safe. People usually confuse whether mason jars are microwavable or not. It’s because some of the jars are microwave-friendly while others aren’t. Ball’s mason jars are microwave-friendly.
Are Panda Bowls Microwave Safe?
Certainly, panda containers are microwave and dishwasher safe, and they are also recyclable. Their lids are uniquely designed and can snap on; hence are good take-out options. Panda bowls are better than paper plates or Styrofoam take-away boxes.
Is Corelle Microwave Safe?
Yes, Corelle dishes are microwave-safe and can heat up to 350℉. However, if you’re microwaving food in a Corelle dish, use the least time imaginable. Don’t use food or browning wrappers when heating Corelle.
Can I Microwave a Glass Bowl?
Yes, you can safely microwave glass and glass-ceramic containers. Ensure it’s free from silver or gold lining before using it.
What Is The Symbol For Microwavable Plastic?
All microwave-safe plastics have curvy lines as their symbol. The symbol may vary significantly, showing a microwave image of radiation waves coming from a dish. Typically, the wavy lines are common, and they signify you can reheat the container comfortably.
What Number Plastic Is Microwave Safe?
High-density polyethylene numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are recognized as microwavable. But you should always be cautious when handling polyethylene types 1, 2, and 4. Number 5 is not only microwave-safe, but it stands as the best plastic variety for microwaving activities.
Which Plastic Container Is Safe For Microwave?
High-Density polyethylene #2 or HDPE is microwave safe. It can withstand between -40 to 266℉ without burning. High-density polyethylene is normally used to make containers in the food industry.
Are Plastic Mixing Bowls Microwaves Safe?
No, you should avoid microwaving plastic mixing bowls since they are not microwave-safe. It’s also sad that the manufacturers have not indicated that it’s not good for microwave use underneath the bowl. Funnily, they can’t even withstand the dishwasher temperatures as they will bend.
Is Paper Microwave Safe?
Yes, paper is microwavable, provided it’s among those recommendable for microwave use. Some of the microwavable papers include; wax paper, paper towels, parchment paper, paper bowls and plates. Note that newspaper is not hygienic and will leak colour into your food, so avoid using it.
Are Sandwich Bags Microwave Safe?
Absolutely, sandwich bags are microwavable, provided you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. But if you notice a sandwich bag that resembles a normal plastic bag and doesn’t contain the microwave-safe label, don’t use it. Sandwich bags are plastic bags from Ziploc Company.
Are Stoneware Plastics Microwaves Safe?
Yes, stoneware is microwave-friendly. Basically, it’s dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. But ensure you check from the manufacturer before using them as the characteristics can be altered by vanishings or paints. Don’t expose stoneware to abrupt temperature changes when microwaving in them.
Most food containers found in our kitchens are not microwave-friendly.
It’s thus critical to check for the microwave-safe label before using the container for cooking or reheating food in the microwave. Microwavable containers are ideal for heating and serving foods without facing chaotic transfers.
Containers with a microwave-safe label won’t get hot, are easily transferable and highly durable.
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