Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Microwave oven is a standard fixture in most of modern kitchens through out the world. Many house wives do not have complete awareness about the practical problems inherent in the day to use of this gadget. Here is a reproduction from a note recently appearing in the Web which can be of some educational value.(

"Have you thought about that box in your kitchen? You know, the one that you use to re-heat leftovers or thaw out that chunk of rock-solid meat from the freezer?
Did you know there are specific food safety rules for the microwave?
When cooking in a microwave, arrange food evenly in a covered dish to allow for even cooking.
Stir or rotate food midway through the microwaving time to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive.
Internal temperatures
Use a food thermometer or the oven's temperature probe to verify the food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature.
Cooking times might vary. Remember to allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer.
Here are the safe minimum internal temperatures;
• For steaks, chops, roasts (beef, pork, lamb, veal), cook to a minimum temperature of 145°F
• For ground beef, pork, lamb and veal ,cook to a minimum temperature of 160°F.
• Cook all poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F
• Cook egg dishes and casseroles to 160°F
• Reheat all leftovers to 165°F.
Cooking whole, stuffed poultry in a microwave oven is not recommended. The stuffing might not reach the temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria.
Defrosting food
So what is the best way to defrost food in your microwave? Did you know that the foam trays that meat is packaged on are not heat stable in the microwave?
If you haven't done it, I am sure one of your kids has microwaved a Styrofoam cup or tray into an unrecognizable white glob. This warping or melting of the foam might cause harmful chemicals to migrate into your food, so we recommend that you take the food to be defrosted out of its packaging, place it on a microwave safe plate or bowl and cover it with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap to hold in the moisture and provide safe, even heating.
If you are defrosting meat, poultry, egg casseroles or fish in the microwave, it is important to cook them immediately after defrosting.
Some areas of a frozen food might begin to cook during the defrosting process, so it is important not to hold the food for cooking later.
The very best method for defrosting is to use the refrigerator, but as you know, that takes time.
Microwave basics
Ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, fully cooked ham and leftovers should be heated in the microwave until they are steaming hot.
Only use cookware specifically manufactured for use in the microwave.
Glass, ceramic and all plastics should be labeled for use in the microwave.
Microwave plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper and white microwave-safe paper towels should be safe to use.
Do not let plastic wrap touch foods during microwaving. Never use thin plastic storage bags, brown paper or plastic grocery bags, newspapers, or aluminum foil in the microwave oven.
Also remember that plastic storage containers, such as margarine tubs, take-out containers, whipped topping bowls and other one-time use containers should not be used in the microwave.
These containers can warp or melt, possibly causing harmful chemicals to migrate into the food.
It is important also to remember to keep your microwave clean.
Food that is left sticking to the inside of the microwave can cause a food safety hazard. It should be cleaned regularly.
A bit of fun
Now that you have the rules of the road for microwaving safely, do you want to have some fun?
Get some marshmallows -- one or two is all you need. Place them in your microwave on a paper plate, set you microwave to cook for about 1 minute , turn out the lights and watch the magic.
What started out as a pingpong ball-sized marshmallow will expand into a baseball sized creation.
One word of caution: Watch the marshmallows very carefully, they can burn rather quickly.
Always remember to be safe whether it be cooking, defrosting, reheating or simply watching marshmallows transform in the microwave.
For more food safety information you can go to


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