Q&A: Safest containers for microwaving food?

Consumer Reports News: March 24, 2010 10:15 AM

What are the safest containers for microwaving food? —V.C., by e-mail

Those made from glass and porcelain are generally better choices than those made from plastic. Some plastics, notably those with a #3 or #7 recycling symbol, can contain BPA, a chemical that’s been linked to reproductive and other health problems. And BPA can leach from plastic into food, especially at high temperatures. Plastic containers without BPA may be safer, but even they can degrade at high temperatures. That’s particularly true for single-use containers such as margarine tubs. If you cover food in the microwave with plastic wrap, leave space so they don’t touch, since that can transfer chemicals to your meal.

And don’t put too much stock in the term "microwave safe." That usually just means the product contains no metal, not that it’s BPA -free or able to withstand high heat.


Take a look at the results of our tests for BPA in canned foods, and read more on how to reduce your exposure to BPA .

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