Use of Plastic Containers for Freezing or Microwaving Food Use of Plastic Containers for Freezing or Microwaving Food
Pharmacist’s Letter August 28, 2005
As reported in the August 28, 2005 Pharmacist’s Letter, there is a rumor that plastic containers should not be used for freezing and microwaving. According to the Pharmacist;s Letter, plastics do not contain dioxins. Dioxins are environmental pollutants that come mostly from the incineration of waste and then are taken up by animals. Exposure to dioxins can cause reproductive and developmental problems. They have been associated with liver damage and cancer. High levels of dioxins are known to cause chloracne, a severe skin disease.
People are exposed to dioxins mostly from eating meat and fish rich in fat. People can lower their exposure to dioxins by limiting intake of fatty foods, which are know to contain dioxins.
However, there is concern that heating up plastic food containers, utensils or plastic wrap, may release other chemicals found in plastics It is best when cooking with plastics to follow the directions and only use plastics that are specially used for cooking.
According to the Pharmacist’s Letter it is better to avoid using plastics storage containers such as margarine tubs or take-out containers—-they may melt possibly causing chemicals to migrate into the food. Try to avoid letting plastic wrap touch foods during microwaving to prevent the wrap from melting.
On the other hand, FREEZING plastics does NOT release chemicals. In fact, cold temperature limit chemical release. The Pharmacist’s Letter says that there is no harm in storing or freezing foods in plastic container.