precautions while using microwaves
What are Microwaves
. Microwaves are high frequency radio waves (radiofrequency fields) and, like visible radiation (light), are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwaves are used primarily for TV broadcasting, radar for air and sea navigational aids, and telecommunications including mobile phones. They are also used in industry for processing materials, in medicine for diathermy treatment and in kitchens for cooking food.
Use Microwaves for Reheating
. We use microwaves for reheating, heating water for tea, sometimes, popcorn, rice, baked potatoes, melting chocolate, softening butter, margarine, or cream cheese, frozen dinners or other things (chicken nuggets or patties), cooking frozen veggies for dinner, and making instant oatmeal for breakfast, this list doesn
Electromagnetic radiation spectrum
. Microwaves, like visible light, are a part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. They are extremely high frequency radio waves. As the frequency of radiation increases, its wavelength decreases, so very high frequencies correspond to very short wavelengths; hence the name microwaves. Infrared radiation, ultraviolet light and X rays are also electromagnetic radiations, but have even shorter wavelengths than microwaves.
Metallic materials totally reflect microwaves
. Microwaves may either be reflected, transmitted or absorbed by matter in their path. Metallic materials totally reflect microwaves. Most non metallic materials such as glass and plastics are partially transparent to microwaves. Material containing moisture, such as food and even people, absorbs microwave energy. If energy is absorbed at a rate greater than the rate at which the material looses energy (ie. rate of cooling), its temperature will in
Are Microwave Ovens Safe
. When used according to manufacturers instructions, microwave ovens are safe and convenient for heating and cooking a variety of foods. However, several precautions need to be taken, specifically with regards to potential exposure to microwaves, thermal burns and food handling.
. It is sometimes possible to super heat some liquids or foods beyond their natural boiling point. Such super heated liquids may boil suddenly and violently when jolted or stirred after removal from the oven
Cooking Containers and Foils
. Plastic containers considered suitable for holding foods at room temperature may not necessarily be suitable for use in a microwave oven. The high cooking temperatures may cause the plastic
Precautions for radiation safety in the use of Microwave Ovens
. Never tamper with or inactivate the interlocking devices. Never use the oven without the trays provided by the manufacturer unless specifically allowed in the manufacturer
Hazards of Microwave Oven
. Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term, permanent, brain damage by
Follow the manufacturers instruction
. Follow the manufacturers instruction manual for recommended operating procedures and safety precautions for your oven model. Be aware of whether your microwave oven has a longer or shorter cooking time than average. Materials containing water, for example foods, fluids or tissues, readily absorb microwave energy, which is then converted into heat.
Do not operate a microwave oven unattended
. Do not operate a microwave oven unattended. Microwaves are reflected, transmitted or absorbed by materials in their path, in a similar manner to light. Metallic materials totally reflect microwaves while non metallic materials such as glass and some plastics are mostly transparent to microwaves.
Do not set oven for excessive cook times
. Do not set oven for excessive cook times. Cook for four (4) minutes, and then restart for any additional cooking that may be needed. Run the microwave for a short time for several cycles to reach the desired temperature. Several short periods are preferable to one long period. Open the oven periodically and stir, turn, and/or check the contents for even cooking and container integrity.
Use caution and follow directions
. Use caution and follow directions when popping popcorn in the microwave. The vapor produced in the bag may exceed 180 degrees F. Do not cook microwave popcorn for more than four (4) minutes;remove bag immediately when rate of popping slows. Attempting to pop all the kernels invariably results in scorched popcorn, smoke, and, possibly, fire.
Dont operate an oven if the door does not close
. Dont operate an oven if the door does not close firmly or is bent, warped, or otherwise damaged.Never operate an oven if you have reason to believe it will continue to operate with the door open. Modifications to microwave ovens are not permitted. If a microwave oven has a damaged door, hinge, latch or sealing surface, the oven must be removed from service until it has been repaired and determined to be safe.
Do not stand directly against an oven
. Do not stand directly against an oven for long periods of time while it is operating. Materials containing water, for example foods, fluids or tissues, readily absorb microwave energy, which is then converted into heat. This Information Sheet discusses the operation and safety aspects of microwave ovens used in the home. More details about the nature of electromagnetic fields and health effects of radiofrequency and microwave fields are available
Do not operate an oven when empty
. Do not operate an oven when empty. Refer to the instruction manual for your oven. The design of microwave ovens ensures that the microwaves are contained within the oven and can only be present when the oven is switched on and the door is shut. Leakage around and through the glass door is limited by design to a level well below that recommended by international standards.
Ovens used for food preparation must be cleaned
. Ovens used for food preparation must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent biological contamination, fire potential, and door seal damage. Keep your microwave oven clean, since any drip accumulation may affect the efficient operation of microwave energy. A messy oven will cook more slowly and unevenly. Clean the oven cavity, the outer edge of the cavity, and the door with water and a mild detergent. A special microwave oven cleaner is not nece
Let food cool for 60 seconds
. Let food cool for 60 seconds or more in the oven before removing it. Food hot enough to burn will cool down while remaining warm enough to enjoy. Be careful when removing a wrapper or cover from a hot item. Hot steam escaping from the container as the covering is lifted can cause a burn. Food can heat unevenly in a microwave oven. Sample the food before you eat it.
Dont use plastic wrappings
. Only utensils designed for the purpose should be used in a microwave oven. Dont use plastic wrappings from purchased refrigerated foods in a microwave oven since they may melt. microwave leakage could still occur around damaged, dirty or modified microwave ovens. It is therefore important that the oven is maintained in good condition. Users should check that the door closes properly and that the safety interlock devices, fitted to the door to pre
Specifically designed for microwave cooking
. Additives used in the manufacture of plastics, particularly those that make it pliable, may migrate into food, especially at high temperatures. Use only those plastic containers specifically designed for microwave cooking, and discard when the surface shows signs of breaking down.
. Container shape may also influence the way food reacts to microwave heating. Circular or oval containers help prevent the edges of food from burning because energy absorption occurs evenly around the edges. Square containers tend to encourage burning on the edge of the product.
Ovens used for laboratory applications
. Ovens used for laboratory applications CANNOT be used for food preparation. Conversely, food preparation ovens should never be used for other applications. Microwave ovens in laboratories should be appropriately labeled for food or non food use.
Do not use aluminum foil
. Do not use aluminum foil or any metal containers, metal utensils, metal objects, or objects with metal or foil trim in the oven. Such items can cause arcing, damaging the oven and creating a fire or burn hazard. Consult your microwaves directions for any limitations on heating TV dinners in metal trays.
Do not heat sealed objects
. Do not heat sealed objects as they may explode, damaging the oven and/or door. Do not heat eggs with shell intact; punch a hole in the shell or break the egg into a container. Containers have been known to explode after tightening the lid following removal from a microwave oven.
Increased rate of colon cancer
. Micro waved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths [tumors]. This has been a primary contributor to the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in the United States. Microwave energy can be absorbed by the body and produce heat in exposed tissues. Organs with a poor blood supply and temperature control, such as the eye, or temperature sensitive tissue like the testes, have a higher risk of heat damage.
Cancerous cells to increase in human blood
. The prolonged eating of micro waved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood. Burn injuries can result from handling hot items heated in a microwave oven, in the same way as items heated using conventional ovens or cooking surfaces. However, heating food in a microwave oven presents some peculiarities. Boiling water on a conventional stove allows steam to escape through bubbling action as the water begins to boil.
Causes immune system deficiencies
. Continual ingestion of micro waved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations. In a microwave oven there may be no bubbles on the walls of the container and the water will super heat and may suddenly boil. This sudden boiling may be triggered by a single bubble in the liquid or by the introduction of a foreign element such as a spoon. People have been severely burned by super heated water.
Causes loss of memory
. Eating micro waved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence. Another peculiarity of microwave cooking relates to the thermal response of specific foods. Certain items with non porous surfaces (e.g. hotdogs) or composed of materials that heat at different rates (e.g. yolk and white of eggs) heat unevenly and may explode. This can happen if eggs or chestnuts are cooked in their shells.
Dont use the microwave for deep frying
. Dont use the microwave for deep frying, canning, or heating baby bottles. These applications dont allow adequate temperature control for safe results.Food safety is an important health issue. In a microwave oven, the rate of heating depends on the power rating of the oven and on the water content, density and amount of food being heated. Microwave energy does not penetrate well in thicker pieces of food, and may produce uneven cooking.
Heat buildup can cause a fire
. Stay with the oven when microwaving popcorn, for heat buildup can cause a fire. Time heating per instructions but lean toward the shorter time (some ovens can scorch popcorn in two minutes).Food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe, and has the same nutrient value, as food cooked in a conventional oven. The main difference between these two methods of cooking is that microwave energy penetrates deeper into the food and reduces the time for heat
Dont dry or disinfect clothing
. Dont dry or disinfect clothing or other articles in the microwave because of the risk of fire. Only certain microwave ovens are designed to sterilize items (for example baby
Use only microwave safe utensils
. Use only microwave safe utensils. Hot food melts some plastics, such as margarine tubs, causing migration of package constituents. Its a good idea to use glass for fatty foods, which get particularly hot, though not all glass and ceramics are microwave safe.
Its unsafe for the microwave if its warm
. Heres a quick test for glass: Microwave the empty container for one minute. Its unsafe for the microwave if its warm; its OK for reheating if its lukewarm; and its OK for actual cooking if its cool.it is important to realize that food cooked in a microwave oven does not become radioactive. Nor does any microwave energy remain in the cavity or the food after the microwave oven is switched off. In this respect, microwaves act just like light; when
Microwave oven is extremely safe
. Properly used, a microwave oven is extremely safe. Under authority of the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act, FDAs Center for Devices and Radiological Health ensures that microwave ovens made after 1971 meet a radiation safety standard requiring: two independent interlock systems to stop microwave production the moment the latch is released or the door is opened. A monitoring system stops the oven if either or both of the interlocks fail
. To be sure radiation levels from a microwave oven remain as low as possible, consumers can take these steps. Domestic microwave ovens operate at a frequency of 2450 MHz with a power usually ranging from 500 to 1100 watts. Microwaves are produced by an electronic tube called a magnetron. Once the oven is switched on, the microwaves are dispersed in the oven cavity and reflected by a stirrer fan so the microwaves are propagated in all directions.
. Dont use an oven if an object is caught in the door or if the door doesnt close firmly or is otherwise damaged. If you have an older model oven with a soft mesh door gasket. Check for deterioration which would require servicing.Unlike conventional ovens, microwaves are absorbed only in the food and not in the surrounding oven cavity. Only dishes and containers specifically designed for microwave cooking should be used.
Contact the manufacturer
. If you suspect excessive microwave leakage, contact the manufacturer, a reputable servicing firm, the local state health department. The FDA has found the inexpensive home microwave testing devices that are available to be generally inaccurate.
Can be damaged by unabsorbed energy
. Dont operate an empty oven if the introduction manual warns against this. In some ovens the magnetron tube can be damaged by unabsorbed energy. the microwaves are dispersed in the oven cavity and reflected by a stirrer fan so the microwaves are propagated in all directions. They are reflected by the metal sides of the oven cavity and absorbed by the food. Uniformity of heating in the food is usually assisted by having the food on a rotating turnt
. If there are signs of rusting inside the oven, have the oven repaired.Microwave energy does not penetrate well in thicker pieces of food, and may produce uneven cooking. This can lead to a health risk if parts of the food are not heated sufficiently to kill potentially dangerous micro organisms. Because of the potential for uneven distribution of cooking, food heated in a microwave oven should rest for several minutes after cooking is completed t
Do not use abrasives
. Clean the door and oven cavity the outer edge. too. with water and mild detergent. Do not use abrasives such as scouring pads. Certain materials, such as plastics not suitable for microwave oven, may melt or burst into flames if overheated. Microwaves do not directly heat food containers which are designed for microwave cooking. These materials usually get warm only from being in contact with the hot food.
. Follow the manufacturers instruction manual for recommended operating procedures and safety precautions.Oven manufacturers do not recommend operating an empty oven. In the absence of food, the microwave energy can reflect back into the magnetron and may damage it.
Be sure children
. Be sure children who use the microwave can do so safely.microwave leakage could still occur around damaged, dirty or modified microwave ovens. It is therefore important that the oven is maintained in good condition. Users should check that the door closes properly and that the safety interlock devices, fitted to the door to prevent microwaves from being generated while it is open, work correctly. The door seals should be kept clean and there shou
. There previously was concern that electromagnetic emissions from microwave ovens could interfere with heart pacemakers. Modern pacemakers are shielded against such interference, but some older models may still be adversely affected by proximity to a microwave oven. If in doubt, check with your doctor.
. Microwaved foods typically retain more vitamins and minerals foods cooked by other methods because microwaving takes less and doesnt require much additional water.Microwave oven users should carefully read and comply with the manufacturer
Microwaves produce heat directly in the food
. Though microwaves produce heat directly in the food, they really dont cook food from the inside out. With thick foods like roasts microwaves generally cook only about an inch of the outer layers. The heat is then slowly conducted inward, cooking along the way.
Increased moisture will heat
. An area of a food where there is increased moisture will heat more quickly than other areas. So, when heating up a jelly roll, for instance, its a good idea to let the food stand after cooking for a minute or two until the heat disperses from the high moisture jelly to the low moisture pass throughout. To promote uniform cooking recipes for microwave ovens usually include directions such as turn the food midway through cooking and cover and let s
Its not good to use metal pans
. As a rule, its not good to use metal pans made for conventional ovens or aluminum foil because reflected microwaves cause uneven cooking and could even damage the oven. However, some new metal cookware is specially configured for use in microwave ovens. These pans are safe, provided instructions for use are carefully followed.
Protector on the magnetron tube
. Some oven models have a protector on the magnetron tube to allow use of a small amount of metal, such as meat skewers or strips of foil over chicken wings and legs. The instructions that come with each microwave oven tell what kinds of containers to use and how to test for suitability for use.
Why do people worry about microwave radiation
. Microwave ovens are used daily in restaurants, cafeterias, lounges, kitchens, snack bars, and homes. Some microwave oven users may be concerned about potential health hazards from the exposure to microwave radiation leakage. You can help to keep your exposure to microwave energy at a minimum by keeping your microwave oven in good working order.
How do microwave ovens work
. In a microwave oven, food is cooked by exposing it to microwave radiation. Microwaves are a form of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy. When this energy comes in contact with food, the absorbed energy causes the water molecules in the food to rotate. This movement causes friction between the molecules and produces a rapid rise in temperature. Microwave energy generated by the magnetron is transferred to the oven cavity through a waveguide
Can microwaves leak radiation
. Health Canadastates that some microwave energy may leak from your oven while you are using it, but this would pose no known health risks, as long as the oven is properly maintained. Old or faulty door seals are the most common causes of microwave radiation leakage. Mechanical abuse, a build up of dirt, or wear and tear from continued use can cause door seals to be less effective.
How is the radiation measured outside the microwave
. Microwave radiation is measured as power density in units of milliwatts per square centimetre (mW/cm2) which is essentially the rate of energy present in one square centimetre. Special equipment is needed to detect and measure the leakage.
What happens to people with pacemakers when they are near microwave ovens
. AsHealth Canadastates: Some early models of pacemakers were susceptible to interference from microwave ovens. Improvements in the shielding and filtering of modern pacemakers and a reduction in the leakage levels from newer microwave ovens have reduced or eliminated these concerns. Most models today are not affected by being near a microwave oven, as long as the leakage is within the limits specified by Health Canadas regulation. Anyone with a pa
Some general safety precautions for microwave ovens
. Follow the manufacturers instructions for operating procedures and safety precautions. Any misuse of the oven may result in personal injury. As mentioned above, persons with modern pacemakers should not experience difficulty when near a microwave that is in good working condition. However, if you have concerns or notice symptoms (e.g., dizziness or discomfort), move away from the microwave immediately and consult with your doctor. Check to see th
Safety tips for the maintenance of microwave ovens include
. Take special care to ensure that no damage occurs to the part of the oven making contact with the door or door seals. Repairs should only be done by a qualified service person. Do not by pass the door interlocks. oven manufacturers generally recommend not placing metal in the oven, particularly not close to the walls, as this could cause electrical arcing and damage the oven walls. Also, because metal reflects microwaves, food wrapped in metal fo
Are there any standards that apply to microwave ovens
. Health Canada established the Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations, under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act in order to govern the design, construction and function of microwave ovens that are sold, leased or imported into Canada. Information about measuring equipment for microwave oven leakage can be obtained from the suppliers and manufacturers of such instruments. The Radiation Emitting Devices Regulation requires that the measuring instrum
Microwave Oven Operating Instructions
. Read any warning messages, instructions, operating procedures and safety precautions. Not all microwave ovens are alike. Never operate the unit when it is empty or use it for storage. Do not operate an oven if the door does not close firmly or is bent, or if the seal, hinges, or latch are worn or broken. Never tamper with the safety interlock switches or the fuse. Make sure the safety mechanisms are in good working condition, and that the microwa
Microwave Oven Cooking Instructions
. Use the microwave only for food or beverages, or other standardized uses. Do not use metal edged bowls, metal plates or cups, tin foil, or metal twist ties in the oven. The metal can spark, damage the unit, and lead to a fire. Use only microwave safe materials.
Read the cooking instructions on the package
. Puncture cooking pouches and foods that have tight skins to release steam as they cook. Never use a brown paper bag for popping popcorn. It can catch fire. These product emission limits are defined for the purpose of compliance testing, not specifically exposure protection. The International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has published guidelines on exposure limits for the whole EMF part of the spectrum. Exposure guideli
Microwave Oven Cleaning Instructions
. Clean the door and oven cavity with water and mild detergent. Do not use abrasives such as scouring pads.Microwave Oven Fire If you have a fire in the microwave, unplug the unit, leave the door shut and call the University Police at 561 297 3500 or 911.
. Many materials such as glass, china, and most types of plastic can be used to cook food in a microwave. The microwaves easily pass through these materials. Thus, they are ideal to cook your food in. However, microwave energy gets reflected when utensils made of foil and metal are placed in it. Care has to be taken not to use such vessels in the microwave unless specifically recommended.
Make sure that the interlocking device
. Make sure that the interlocking device is not tampered with or inactivated. Several countries, as well as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), have set a product emission limit of 50 watts per square metre (W/m2) at any point 5 cm awa
Always make sure some load
. Always make sure that you operate your oven with some load in it. This means that you need to put some food or water in the cavity provided while using it. Check what instructions are provided by your manufacturer. If your dishes (serving bowls, plates, mugs, cups, etc.) contain any lead at all, leaching of lead into your food is accelerated in a microwave. Utilize glass such as Pyrex or Corningware to cook food (and even to heat food, especiall
. Make sure you keep your microwave clean. Water and a mild detergent can be used to clean it regularly. Ensure that the inside surfaces of your oven are clean after every use. Never place metal items such as aluminum foil, steel or aluminum containers, utensils or wire ties in the microwave. It can damage the oven.
Make sure you do not stick your face too close to the microwave door
. When you are operating the oven, make sure you do not stick your face too close to the microwave door. Make sure children understand the rules about using a microwave. In many ways, using one is safer for them than using a stove, but it has its own very real dangers.
Take care and ensure that children are using
. Last but not the least, you have to take care and ensure that children are supervised while using the microwave. Microwave energy can be absorbed by the body and produce heat in exposed tissues. Organs with a poor blood supply and temperature control, such as the eye, or temperature sensitive tissue like the testes, have a higher risk of heat damage. However, thermal damage would only occur from long exposures to very high power levels, well in e
Dont overheat or overcook items
. Dont overheat or overcook items. It increases the chances of burning yourself, ruining the food or setting the microwave on fire. When in doubt, cook in short bursts, checking items frequently. The microwave process shortens and tightens the protein, or the gluten in wheat, drying and toughening the product. Theres exceptions, but usually a tender, more flavorful dish can be done using conventional heat. Reheat breads very briefly, wrapped in
Wait for a moment before removing hot food
. Wait for a moment before removing hot food from the oven. This avoids boil over and explosive situations; seeMicrowave Madness. Dont add anything such as sugar or a tea bag to freshly microwaved liquids while holding the cup in your hand or having it near your face.
Dont try to microwave a whole egg in its shell
. Prick egg yolks or items with tight skins such as potatoes, eggplants, sausages. It helps avoid an explosion. Dont try to microwave a whole egg in its shell! Dont use plastic wrap unless its designed for microwave, and even then, dont let it touch the food because of the possibility chemicals could be transferred into your food. Better yet, cover with another microwave proof dish or a microwave plate cover designed for that purpose.
Dont let it touch the food
. Cover items likely to splatter or jump out of the dish, such as beans. Dont use plastic wrap unless its designed for microwave, and even then, dont let it touch the food because of the possibility chemicals could be transferred into your food. Better yet, cover with another microwave proof dish or a microwave plate cover designed for that purpose.
Never use grocery bags
. All paper products are manufactured with chemicals. Never use grocery bags, paper plates, newspapers, butchers wrap or other paper items to heat food. The microwave can cause chemicals in these products to transfer into your food. Use white paper towels only if the label states they are microwave safe. Wax paper, parchment paper and oven cooking bags are safe to use. Dont overheat!
Microwavable plastic containers
. Plastics melt, and most containVERY TOXICchemicals. These toxins are sealed into the plastic, but microwaving may release them. Guess where they go? Into your food! Never let plastic wrap touch your food. Use only microwave plastic wrap to cover dishes, or use a microwave plate cover or another inverted dish. Never reheat in Styrofoam, margarine tubs, whipped topping bowls or other plastic containers. If you use reheatable disposable microwave c
Greater safety and peace of mind
. If your dishes (serving bowls, plates, mugs, cups, etc.) contain any lead at all, leaching of lead into your food is accelerated in a microwave.Utilize glass such as Pyrex or Corningware to cook food (and even to heat food, especially greasy, sugary or acid foods) whenever possible for greater safety and peace of mind.
. I dont recommend cooking meats, egg or cheese dishes, custards or breads in the microwave as a general rule.(If youre happy with the results, however, thats what matters.) The microwave process shortens and tightens the protein, or the gluten in wheat, drying and toughening the product. Theres exceptions, but usually a tender, more flavorful dish can be done using conventional heat. Reheat breads very briefly, wrapped in a damp paper towel. Meat
If something in your microwave catches on fire
. If something in your microwave catches on fire, dont open it or throw water on it. Hit the stop button, unplug it quickly, stand by with a kitchen fire extinguisher just in case (you do have one, dont you?) and let it burn itself out. It may damage your oven but it shouldnt burn you or ruin your kitchen that way. Never use a microwave with a damaged or misaligned door or seal.You can findreplacement partsonline.
Make sure children understand the rules
. Make sure children understand the rules about using a microwave. In many ways, using one is safer for them than using a stove, but it has its own very real dangers. Use only microwave plastic wrap to cover dishes, or use a microwave plate cover or another inverted dish. Never reheat in Styrofoam, margarine tubs, whipped topping bowls or other plastic containers. If you use reheatable disposable microwave containers, discard them afterwards; do