Posted by rhondascooking on October 5, 2008
Answer: I see two concerns with your question—appropriate storage containers and microwave usage. Let’s first start with appropriate storage containers. The best food storage container is made of glass or ceramic, but these can be a bit pricey. Other types of containers that are safe to use are plastic containers and non-bleached paper bags/boxes, but you have to select them based on usage. However, because I always look for ways to protect our health and environment, I recommend that if you use plastics use those that are recyclable, biodegradable and safe. Look on the back of the container for the numbers 2 and 5; these numbers reflect the type of resin materials (polyethylene and polyproplylene).1 (Please note: store meat in glass containers only.)
Now to address which containers to use for microwave use, you must pay attention and look at the little images or read the directions/usage notes. This is the only way to determine if that container is appropriate for microwave usage; never assume that it’s okay if you do not see anything. Look for the microwave image or words like “microwave reheatable” or “microwave-safe”. If you do not see either of these, then you should not use that container. Not every container should be used in the microwave. Also, throw away any container that has been damaged in the microwave due to the heating/cooking process (i.e. small holes or indentions in the container). This can be a potential risk for bacteria contamination.
1Sage. “Decoding Your Plastic Containers.” Online posting. 10 July 2006. Domesticgoddess.com – All Topics. 05 Oct. 2008 <http://domesticgoddesses.tribe.net/thread/243d1968-ce4d-4345-9a60-286eb3705e62>.