For all-out convenience in the kitchen, the doesn’t acquire much better than your microwave. The microwave’s ability to warm food or soften butter in seconds rather than minutes made it an immediate hit when they came to be commonplace in American families in the mid-1970s.

You are watching: Can you microwave styrofoam take out boxes

But not every kind of food container is intended for the microwave. Metal-based materials can’t be supplied in microwaves since the waves can’t penetrate through metal. Through aluminum foil or tins, the microwave rays have nowhere to go, so the metal heats up really quickly and also might eventually catch fire. With few exceptions, many glass and ceramic commodities are microwave safe, however they might not be valuable for delivering or save foods. So that pipeline styrofoam. However can girlfriend microwave styrofoam cups or also heat styrofoam at all?

Read this before you placed your styrofoam bowls, cups, or bowl in the microwave.

*
What is styrofoam?

Trademarked by The Dow chemical Company, the term ‘styrofoam’ actually describes a type of polystyrene foam generally used in the structure industry. Over the years, the term has often been misused as soon as referring come an broadened polystyrene foam it is injected right into molds to do disposable plates, cups, and also take-out containers. 

Polystyrene containers space cheap come manufacture and also are terrific at maintaining foods and beverages warm, making them a popular choice in the food industry. However over the previous several years, there has been a cultivation backlash against single-use polystyrene containers due to environmental and potential health concerns.

It deserve to actually take about 50 years for a styrofoam coffee cup come decompose, and sadly, styrofoam and also other plastics make up about 30% of every landfill volume in the joined States. 

From a health perspective, styrofoam-based assets contain a compound called styrene, which has been attached to cancers in animal and human studies. Over there is an boosted risk the styrene leaking into foods when containers room microwaved.

*
Can you safely microwave or heat styrofoam cup or other food containers?

Food-use styrofoam containers, do from broadened polystyrene, room not oven safe. These styrofoam containers will begin to soften at 212°F and actually melt at 464°. Castle are, however, safe to use for save food in the refrigerator yet never to chef or reheat in the oven. 

The Food and also Drug management (FDA) does manage plastic and polystyrene containers, cups, and also plates and tests your safety and use in microwave ovens. Those deemed perfect receive a microwave-safe label indicating they have been experiment for security in the microwave. Look for the microwave-safe labeling on any kind of styrofoam or polystyrene containers prior to putting them right into the microwave.

See more: Part Of Molten Rock At Mid Ocean Ridges, Seafloor Spreading

“The FDA long earlier recognized the potential for little amounts that plasticizers come migrate right into food. For this reason it closely regulates plastic containers and materials the come into call with food. The FDA calls for manufacturers to check these containers utilizing tests that fulfill FDA standards and also specifications. It then reviews check data before approving a container for microwave use.”

— Harvard medical School

A couple of more things concerning microwave reheating:

If you can’t verify that your styrofoam container is microwave safe, transport the food to a glass or ceramic container labeling microwave safe.If you want to cover foods while reheating in the microwave, usage wax paper, parchment, or even record towels. Don’t enable plastic plunder to contact food while microwaving, as it may melt during the heater process.Those plastic tubs that hold yogurt, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and other foods items may it is in tempting to use as extra food warehouse in the fridge, but they space not microwave safe.Any plastic containers that room cracked, scratched, or microwaved plenty of times can begin to leach out harmful plastic right into your food. 

If you are unsure of your food containers’ microwave safety, don’t use them. By gift diligent and also reading labels, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience the microwave heating while still maintaining you and your family safe.