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When cooking and reheating dishes in the microwave oven, there is a need to cover the bowl the dish is in; cling film is one of the few options we naturally gravitate towards.
But can you put cling film in the microwave? The fact that plastic wrap is one of the most common food cover options used in the microwave does not make it safe.
Yes, it is safe to put cling film in the microwave; however, certain precautions must be followed; here’s a list of them.
Can You Put Cling Film In The Microwave?
It is safe to use microwaveable plastic wrap when heating food. But you will need to keep the plastic wrap elevated above the food surface and run the microwave using low or medium power level and microwave for less than 2 minutes to avoid the risk of melting the cling film.
Although it is safe to wrap your food with cling film before microwaving, there are still technical questions you should put into consideration; this is due to the harmful effects plastic has on both the environment and people’s health.
The USDA confirms that you can safely use plastic wrap in your microwave, but they also go on to state that the plastic film you use should not be in contact with the food.
So when you are covering food in a dish or container with cling film, ensure that there’s an air gap between the upper surface of the food and the plastic wrap.
If heating a large serving, you can place the food in a deeper or wider bowl, so there’s more room. The film should be stretched tautly across the top of the container or dish and shouldn’t touch the food before placing it in the microwave.
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Is Plastic Wrap in Microwave Safe?
There’s a lot of worry about microwaving plastic wrap causing cancer; however, according to cancer research UK, there is no scientific evidence that plastic wrap is a carcinogen at all.
There is basically no scientific evidence to support these rumors. This, however, does not make the process entirely risk-free. If the plastic wrap accidentally melts in your microwave and it comes in contact with the food, it could pose certain health problems.
This is why it is very important to keep an eye on the temperature of your microwave as you heat a dish covered with cling film.
Microwaving plastic wrap with temperatures between 220°f and 250°f can cause it to melt. So do well to keep the temperature well below this range.
Why Your Plastic Wrap Should Not Be In Contact With Food In The Microwave?
As already mentioned above, the USDA advises that plastic film should not be in contact with food. Leave a clear air gap between the food and the film.
Many people find using cling film to cover food before reheating in the microwave time-saving and quick. Although it is very convenient, they are running the risk of damaging their health.
This you can minimize by opting for a microwave-safe plastic food wrap. You should also follow the recommended guidelines and leave an air gap between the plastic and the food.
How Long You Can Microwave Plastic Film?
With your microwave running at a low power setting, you can microwave plastic film-covered food for as long as 20 minutes; remember to always leave out an air gap.
If you’re using hotter settings, you should not microwave the plastic wrap for more than two minutes maximum.
Food covered with plastic wrap should not be allowed to reach a temperature more than 150°f, although the plastic film can withstand a temperature up to 250°f.
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