Reheating meals in plastic containers in the microwave is something that many of us do, but those containers start to break down over time and leach plastic into the food. The Wall Street Journal shows us how to work out when it's time to throw them out.
When you heat up plastic, the chemicals inside can migrate out and into your food. You just need to watch out for a couple of things:
The amount of chemicals leaching into food depends on the type of plastic that is put in the microwave, the time it is heated and the physical condition of the container, says Dr. Halden. Old, cracked containers and those that have been washed hundreds of times often give off more toxins when heated. Any deformities or discoloration are a sign it's time for the recycling bin.
And reheating foods heavy in cream and butter in plastic is always a bad idea. "Fatty foods absorb more of these harmful chemicals when heated," he says.
Of course, you can always skip the plastic container and use ceramic or glass instead. But if you're stuck with plastic, make sure you toss it out when it starts to get deformed or discoloured.
Burning Question: Is it OK to Heat Food in Plastic? [Wall Street Journal]