Is it safe to microwave Tupperware?
The straightforward answer to this question is: Yes, if only it has a Microwave safe symbol.
Fortunately, most Tupperware containers are BPA-free and considered microwavable.
Yet, is only a Microwave safe symbol enough to certify a plastic container as harmless?
Let’s try to find out more in detail.
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What is Tupperware?
Generally, the term Tupperware is used to refer to plastic food storage containers that come with snap seal lids.
Tupperware food storage containers are a popular choice when it comes to storing food items or reheating meal preps. These containers are made with sturdy plastics that are durable and eco-friendly. Many consumers around the world use Tupperware products because of their microwaving quality, color safety guarantee, reusable features, and the ability to keep food fresh for a long time.
However, Tupperware is basically a multinational brand founded in South Grafton, Massachusetts. An American Chemist and a Businessman named Carl Tupper designed and commercially produced this convenient and lightweight plastic container brand in 1946. Coincidentally, the same year when the modern microwave oven was first sold.
Initially, Tupperware struggled to grab enough customers’ attention. In the 1950s, however, it became a well-known brand in the USA, and It’s been almost 80 years on the market. Today this brand has operations in more than 80 countries, including Belgium, France, Greece, Portugal, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and South Africa, among others.
The safety concern about microwaving a plastic container has been debatable for years. But when necessity calls, it becomes hard to keep up with all the safety and health warnings. Since Plastic containers are convenient, many consumers, especially those who remain strapped for time, never hesitate to use them to reheat leftovers or help with meal prep.
While plastic food containers are your number one priority, it’s always a wise decision to carefully choose the option thats best for your needs.
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According to the FDA, one should not microwave any plastic containers that are not marked safe for microwaving. Any container without a microwave safety symbol may leach out harmful chemicals and mix them with the food content. This may result in serious medical conditions, including Asthma, Thyroid diseases, PCOS, Liver problems, and even accelerates Cancer.
You’ll find the microwave safety sign, which consists of three wavy lines, below the container. If a container, even Tupperware, does not have the Microwave safe symbol, you should never use them in a microwave oven.
So, what makes Tupperware (or any plastic) safe to microwe?
- Generally speaking its based on the type of plastic material used in production of the good or container. There are overall seven types of plastic which are numbered according to grade. While 2, 4, 5, 6 grades are generally considered safe; 1, 3, and 7 are not recommended for use when it comes to storing food content or water and should not be microwaved
- Tupperware consists largely of grade 4, which is (LDPE – LOW-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE), and grade 5, (PP POLYPROPYLENE). These grades of plastics are reusable, sustainable, and considered the least harmful to human health
● The quality plastics used in Tupperware make the containers strong, durable, and relatively safe in the microwave
● The custom-designed lid (that comes in various colors) often has a steam-vent feature which lets the steam release while cooking or reheating. Due to this feature, the risk of plastic melting in the microwave is greatly reduced. Additionally, it’s easier to wash, and resists stains and odors. The surface is solid and well-built, so it’s less scratch-prone when you stir the food. The feet on the bottom let the air circulate, so it cooks evenly.
● And the colorants used to produce Tupperwares are inspected and approved. There’s very little chance of transmitting any harmful elements to the food itself.
Microwave Safe Tupperware Alternatives
Since plastics are often deemed potentially dangerous to our health, Tupperware containers (even with a microwave-safe symbol) are obviously not the safest option. If you are someone who doesn’t want to completely eliminate any potential risks of microwaving plastics, there are some non-plastic alternatives to Tupperware you may wish to consider.
Glass is breakable, but at least it does not leach harmful chemicals during microwaving. Glass food storage containers are a great option to store, freeze, reheat foods or leftovers. They are very easy to wash, non-toxic, odor-resistant, and can be used for a long time (if taken care of properly).
Brands like Pyrex, Glasslock, Prepnaturals, Bovado, and S Salient produce Microwave Oven safe container sets that come in different sizes and designs.
However, Glass containers are not lightweight. They are not as convenient as Tupperwares for transporting meal preps and cost is also a consideration.
Microwavable ceramic food storage containers with vented lids are ideal choices for storing food, freezing, or reheating meal preps.
Ceramics brand products from Hjn, W&P, DII are some popular food storage containers that withstand a variety of temperatures. They are safe for microwaves, freezers, or dishwashers.
Ceramic food storage containers never react with acidic foods. As a result, there is no chance to pass any harmful elements to the food content. They are very convenient, easy to clean, and stackable.
Stainless steel containers
Although it’s not a good idea to microwave any metal derived containers, recently the well-known kitchenware brand Milton launched microwavable stainless steel containers with expandable insulated lunch bags. These containers are BPA-free and specially designed to withstand the microwave.
Other Safe Plastic containers
There are several other brands that produce microwavable BPA-free containers with safe plastics, which can be some good alternatives to Tupperware. However its important to carefully inspect your plastic containers, no matter the claims and refrain from microwaving them if you can’t find the Microwave safe symbol.
Rubbermaid, a popular kitchenware brand that produces innovative microwavable food storage containers that are reasonably priced and can be an alternative to Tupperware food storage containers.
Snapware, A brand from the US, produces food storage sets with safe plastics. They are leakproof, BPA-free, and microwavable. Container sets from Snapwares comes in various designs, multiple shapes, and airtight lids. They are stain & odor resistant and provide a Limited Lifetime Guarantee.
Freshware Meal Prep containers can be one of your best on-the -go alternatives to Tupperware food storage containers. Freshware containers are BPA-free, microwavable, stackable, reusable, and come with premium quality and designs.
General Microwave safety
Before anything else, you should definitely look for the Microwave safe symbol when buying any Tupperware food container. Apart from that, there are some other crucial factors that should be taken into consideration when purchasing or using Tupperware containers.
- Buying guide:
– A faulty lid could cause severe damage to your microwave oven. So when buying a microwaving tub, you should check the Lid thoroughly. If it doesn’t fit the tub tight, you definitely shouldn’t buy the product.
– Check whether the tub has any scratch or crack on its body.
– Buy leak-proof and waterproof containers.
– It’s best to buy a set of products that come in various sizes and designs.
– Check for the products with a warranty. Unlike many other food storage container brands, Tupperware offers a limited lifetime warranty on its major products.
- Important usage guide:
– When placing a tub in the microwave, make sure the lid is not sealed on the container
– Pop the Vent when placing the container in the microwave oven. If the Lid doesn’t have a vent, make sure to keep the edges of the Lid a bit loose so the heat can escape the tub.
– Never reheat frozen food. It’s not a good idea to directly transfer food from the freezer to the microwave. Wait until the food temperature gets normal before microwaving any food in Tupperware.
– The Maximum temperature of the microwave should not exceed 165 F.
– According to the experts, you should not reheat food for more than 2-3 mins. If the food needs more than 3 min to heat, stop the microwave timer at 3 min, open up the Lid, stir the food, and resume the microwave for further 2-3 mins.
– You should not microwave any fatty or high-sugar food content in the Tupperware. This might result in a huge mess.
– Immediately dispose of any plastic container that shows a dark spot, scratch, or crack on the body of the container.
Overall, Tupperware food storage containers are a good choice for microwaving meal preps, lunch, or any other food content. In most cases they are made with safe plastics and come in various designs.
Yet, if you hesitate to use any plastic tubs in the microwave oven, glass or ceramic-made microwavable containers can be some good choices for you.