Possible health risks: What foods do not belong in the microwave?
Although still edible, millions of tons of food end up in the garbage every year. Warming up food can help prevent waste. This is particularly fast with the microwave. However, it should be noted that not all food should be heated in the microwave.
Practical household appliance
The microwave oven is one of the most common household appliances in this country. In the practical appliances, hot meals are ready within minutes. However, some consumers fear that microwave food is not healthy. “This concern is however unfounded , reports the federal center for nutrition (BZfE).
Composition of the meals does not change
“The electromagnetic rays of the microwave merely cause the components of the food to vibrate, so that heat is generated. However, the composition of the food does not change. The waves are not strong enough for this,” the experts say.
And: “The food cannot absorb any rays either. Food from the microwave is just as safe as food from the saucepan”.
However some food should not land in the microwave to warm up – because otherwise health risks threaten.
Do not heat chicken in the microwave
Experts advise against warming up cold chicken in the microwave. This is because the protein structures in the meat change, which is why our body can no longer process the proteins properly.
This can lead to digestive problems, nausea and diarrhoea.
The poultry should therefore be warmed up better in the stove, taking care that it is heated completely and evenly for several minutes. The meat should also be hot in the middle.
Mushrooms better enjoyed fresh
Even mushrooms should not be in the microwave. Not only because they taste best freshly prepared, but also because they can form dangerous toxins during prolonged storage, which can cause health problems such as nausea or diarrhoea.
The basic rule is to cool leftovers of mushroom dishes quickly and not to store them in the refrigerator for longer than one day. This also applies to dishes with spinach.
When warming up once, the food should be heated to at least 70 degrees. The dish should not be warmed up again.
Possible explosions and gastrointestinal problems
We also advise against warming eggs, especially hard-boiled eggs. This could lead to an explosion, which could cause the microwave to become dirty.
In worse cases, it is even possible that the shell will not be blown until the egg has been removed from the appliance. Then there is the danger of scalding due to the hot liquid contained.
However, other egg dishes such as omelettes do not belong in the microwave either. Similar to poultry, protein structures can change, which can cause stomach problems.
In addition, there is a risk of salmonella if the eggs have not been heated long enough either during the first preparation or during warming up.
Salmonella are bacteria that can trigger severe gastrointestinal diseases (salmonellosis).
The disease occurs a few hours to days after infection and manifests itself mainly in sudden onset of diarrhoea, abdominal pain, discomfort, cold feeling and headaches.
In some cases, vomiting and mild fever may also occur.
Warming up in a saucepan is safer
Cooked rice and potatoes that have not been stored quickly in the refrigerator after preparation also pose a risk because they can form spores and fungi.
If the food is only heated for a short time or at too low a temperature, the germs are not killed. This can result in food poisoning.
Basically, a health hazard cannot be excluded when heating the mentioned food in the microwave.
The cooking pot or stove is considered to be the safer alternative. Thorough cooking or heating can kill bacteria.
When heating in the microwave, food is normally not heated everywhere hot enough or for long enough. For example, it does not make sense to heat pizza pieces from the previous day in the microwave.
It is also better to refrain from warming coffee. Not necessarily because of health reasons, but because the taste suffers considerably. (ad)