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27th Feb 2024

Doctor issues warning over heating up food in plastic containers in the microwave

Callum Boyle

Plastic Containers Microwave

Think again before reheating your meal

Let’s set the scene. You’ve just come in from a hard days work but you cannot be bothered to cook. Then you remember, you were a genius. You only had some leftovers from the meal before because you’d done some batch cooking. Wow, thanks past you.

To make that meal, it just a simple case of putting the plastic containers that has the contents of your meal in the microwave to heat up. Or is it?

However one specialist stomach doctor Saurabh Sethi took to TikTok to reveal the problems that the microwave can present when heating your food up in plastic containers.

In a post to his 330,000 followers explained microwaving is good because it keeps nutrients well.

“Studies suggest that microwaving retains the nutrients well, often better than methods like frying,” he said before then going on to reveal the risks of using plastics.

He added: “Now here is the most important tip. Many plastics contain hormone-disrupting compounds like BPA, which can contaminate your food when heated.”

BPA, also known as bisphenol A, contains important hormones, with research suggesting that BPA can increase blood pressure,  cause type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Research from Which? also suggested that microwaving food in plastic containers can make bad chemicals go into food.

They also added that even if the plastic container is BPA-free, using it could still present a risk.

“Even if a plastic doesn’t contain BPA, it could still be unsuitable for microwave use. This could be because it isn’t designed to withstand high temperatures, or because it contains phthalates (another type of hormone-disrupting chemical which, like BPA, can be transferred to food during the cooking process),” they explained.

Sethi also advised using glass instead of plastic to microwave ready meals while the Food Packaging Forum advises not to microwave any kind of plastic.

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