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CDA Buying Advice – Are Microwaves Safe?

Here, we answer some questions about microwave safety and what the best practices are when using a microwave oven…

Is it bad to stand in front of a microwave?

There is a myth that if you stand in front of a microwave then you can be exposed to radiation. We are here to tell you that you are safe and that although you may worry, there are procedures in place to ensure the safety of your microwave. 

Microwaves can leak radiation but the levels are so small they wouldn’t affect you. Public Health England regulate microwave oven safety and ensure that every microwave that is on the market in the UK meets specific requirements. These limitations ensure that your microwave can only leak 5 milliwatts in its lifetime. This level is far below the levels of radiation to harm any human. 

So to put your mind at rest you can be assured that your microwave is not going to harm you by emitting microwave radiation. This means that you can go on microwaving with complete peace of mind. 

Can microwaves kill bacteria?

A common question is, can microwaves kill bacteria? The simple answer is, no. Microwaves create heat by generating waves of radiation that then excite molecules inside of food to help it cook quickly. The heat generated kills the bacteria within food as long as it is heated to a safe internal temperature.

Microwave meals due to their shapes and sizes can sometimes not cook all of the way through, which then leaves room for bacteria to survive. But this is easily prevented by making sure that before you eat a microwave meal it is thoroughly cooked all of the way through and is piping hot.  

Do microwaves kill nutrients?

There is a myth that microwaving your food will kill all of the nutrients inside of your food. But this is wrong. In fact microwaving your food is actually one of the better ways to cook food.

If you use a little water when cooking your food in the microwave it will essentially steam the food and help to retain the nutrients, better than the majority of cooking methods. 

Are old microwaves dangerous?

If you have loved and cared for your microwave throughout the years there is no reason as to why it should be dangerous.

But one thing to keep in mind is that the door seals or the screen itself will have undergone some wear and tear, so it may be a good idea to replace them to ensure that your microwave is safe and you feel happy that it doesn’t need replacing. 

Why is it necessary to let microwave food sit for a couple before eating it?

Microwave food manufactures recommend that you leave your meal to sit for around half the time that the meal has cooked for. This is to help eliminate any hotspots within the meal and to even out the temperature, so letting it cool down so you don’t burn yourself. 

Can you use metal trays in a convection microwave oven?

This is always something that a lot of people want to know. But the answer is yes in a microwave convection oven metal and foil can be safely used during cooking.

However you should not put any metal cookware in a standard microwave, as the metal will not allow the microwave radiation to penetrate through the metal to heat the food. It is also bad for the microwave itself to have metal cookware cooking inside and can cause arcing.

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