The microwave has become an essential part of every kitchen and most of us are truly grateful for its lightning-fast heating. But did you know that reheating certain foods in the microwave can be harmful or even cause serious illness?
A microwave cooks or reheats your food unevenly, meaning that any bacteria found in the food may easily survive the reheating. Moreover, microwave blasts can directly trigger the formation of carcinogenic toxins.
To avoid or at least minimize the microwave dangers, you should never use it to cook or reheat these 10 common foods.
#10 – Hard-boiled eggs
With or without a shell, cooking a hard-boiled in the microwave will make the moisture inside create a steam buildup to the extent that the egg may explode!
What’s worse, the egg bursting after being heated, which may occur on a plate, in your hand, or even your mouth. To avoid all this mess, simply cut the egg into little pieces you reheat it or don’t put it in the microwave in the first place.
#9 – Breast milk
Many new moms find it practical to freeze their breast milk and store it for later use. This isn’t a bad idea unless the milk is reheated in a microwave. The microwave can warm a bottle of breast milk unevenly, forming hot spots that can burn seriously burn the mouth and throat of a baby.
Moreover, there’s the carcinogen danger related to reheating plastic. According to the FDA, breast milk and formula should be thawed and reheated using hot tap water or in a pot on the stove.
#8 – Processed meat
Most processed meats consist of a number of preservatives and chemicals. Dangerously, microwaving can cause chemical changes (for example, oxidized cholesterol), making those substances worse for your health.
According to research, reheating processed meats in the microwave leads to the development of cholesterol oxidation products, which have been associated with coronary heart disease.
#7 – Rice
Microwaving rice may result in food poisoning, according to the Food Standards Agency. The problem with rice involves the presence of Bacillus cereus, heat-resistant toxin-releasing bacteria that can cause diarrhea or nausea and vomiting.
Several studies have found that reheating rice in the microwave and then storing it at room temperature causes the spores it may contain to grow in number, leading to food poisoning if eaten.
To avoid eating contaminated rice, make sure to heat it at a high temperature and keep it warm.
#6 – Chicken
The heat produced by a microwave rarely kills the bacteria present in food because it doesn’t work from the inside out, meaning that bacteria-prone reheated foods are at a greater risk of causing illness. And since chicken is prone to salmonella contamination, it could be risky to reheat in the microwave.
#5 – Leafy greens
You should better use an oven rather than a microwave when reheating leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and celery. These greens contain naturally occurring nitrates which are good for your health on their own but when reheated in the microwave may turn into nitrosamines. According to studies, nitrosamines can be carcinogenic.
#4 – Beets
Just like leafy greens, beets also witness the same chemical conversion when reheated in a microwave. This is especially true for nitrate-rich beets and turnips. So you may just consider never reheating them again and simply eating them cold, luckily, they’re just as tasty.
#3 – Hot peppers
When you reheat hot peppers in the microwave, the chemical responsible for their spicy flavor (aka capsaicin) is released into the air. Dangerously, the airborne chemical can burn your throat and eyes.
As a matter of fact, one building in NYC had to be evacuated because of microwaved hot peppers, which caused people to experience trouble breathing and coughing.
#2 – Fruits
If you put grapes in the microwave, you will end up making plasma rather than raisins! In fact, heating just a couple of pieces of this fruit in the microwave can convert into enough amount of plasma to penetrate through a plastic container. Although you may not create plasma with other fruit, you’ll certainly end up with an unnecessary mess.
#1 – Potatoes
While it’s safe to cook a raw potato for a quick side dish, it’s very dangerous to reheat cooked potatoes. In case potatoes were cooked in aluminum foil, the bacteria C.
botulinum will stay protected from the heat, which means it can thrive when the potato stays at room temperature for a long period of time, potentially causing botulism. And placing a contaminated potato in the microwave will certainly not kill the bacteria.
To stay safe, always use a baking sheet instead of aluminum foil to cook potatoes and don’t forget to refrigerate leftover potatoes as soon as possible.
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