Microwaves are a very convenient method of cooking or reheating food and contrary to popular belief, they preserve MORE of the vitamins and minerals in the foods than other conventional cooking methods. Don’t trade your cooking stove for a microwave just yet – here are some foods that you should never put in your microwave as it could have unbelievably serious health consequences.
(Video) 6 Foods You Should Never Microwave!
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Foods You Should Never Microwave
“When you reheat rice in a microwave, it will not kill harmful bacteria but instead provides them with a hot moist environment in which they thrive”
Rice often contains spores of a bacteria called bacillus cereus, which produce toxins that cause mild food poisoning. These spores are resistant to heat and so are the toxins that they produce, which is why cooking will not kill them.
When you reheat rice in a microwave, it will not kill the bacteria, but instead it will provide them with a hot moist environment causing them to proliferate. If you are storing cooked rice, make sure that you plunk it into the fridge one hour after it is cooked to prevent the growth of this bacteria.
“When you cook or heat chicken in the microwave, it does not cook evenly and so some of it may remain undercooked & will contain some amount of harmful bacteria”
Salmonella infection is one of the most common types of food poisoning and is linked to undercooked chicken. A significant number of our poultry contains a small amount of this bacteria, but they are destroyed by high heat levels, which is why it is important to cook chicken correctly.
When you cook or heat chicken in the microwave, it does not cook evenly and so some of it may remain undercooked even while the rest of it gets overcooked. Authorities recommend that if you must use a microwave to cook your chicken, make sure that the temperature is 165°F or above to destroy these bacteria.
3. Milk, Especially Breastmilk
“The excess heat from a microwave reduces the nutritional quality of milk”
Milk is considered to be one of the best forms of nutrition as it contains a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, healthy fatty acids, and bioactive compounds that have a positive impact on health. Breastmilk is particularly nutritious for babies as it improves their immunity levels and decreases their risk of several types of infection.
Heating milk in a microwave is a bad idea as the milk does not heat evenly and some portions may get too hot while others remain cold. Also, the excess heat from a microwave will reduce the nutritional quality of breastmilk.
4. Frozen Meat
“Bone can shield meat from thorough heating in a microwave and so you should avoid this practice as far as possible”
Freezing is an ideal way to store meat as it prevents the proliferation of bacteria within the meat. However, it is best to thaw frozen meat using conventional methods, as thawing meat in a microwave can be uneven. While the outer potions of the meat might seem to be perfectly thawed, the inner potions might remain frozen.
If you cook the meat immediately after, these portions will take longer to cook and undercooked meat is likely to contain bacteria, which will lead to food poisoning. Furthermore, bone can shield meat from thorough heating in a microwave and so you should avoid this practice as far as possible.
“The spores of a bacteria found in microwave-baked potatoes produce neurotoxins that lead to paralysis”
Clostridium botulinum is a type of bacteria that is often found in soil. Since potatoes are grown in soil they often contain the spores of this bacteria. The spores themselves are not dangerous but they produce 4 neurotoxins that attack the central nervous system.
When you bake potatoes in a microwave, the heat does not spread evenly which results in hot and cold spots. Bacteria can survive within the cold spots and can increase in number and lead to a serious health condition known as botulism which causes paralysis.
“When cooking eggs in a microwave, the egg is likely to remain uncooked in spots and so the bacteria in these portions is not destroyed, posing a risk of food poisoning”
Eggs often contain salmonella which is a bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This bacteria is killed when exposed to high temperatures which is why it is important to make sure that eggs are cooked through and through. When cooking eggs in a microwave, the egg is likely to remain uncooked in spots and so the bacteria in these portions is not destroyed which can lead to food poisoning.
Furthermore, attempting to cook an egg within its shell can cause a build-up of high-pressured steam within the egg and it can explode violently when the shell is broken. This has been known to cause severe burns as well as vision-threatening corneal damage.
While the foods on this list should never be nuked, don’t hesitate to pop your dinner into your microwave for a quick and easy meal. Microwaving food isn’t the great health hazard it’s sometimes made out to be, so don’t fall for all of those myths about microwaves. Just make sure to avoid using them to cook such foods and you have nothing to worry about.
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