Microwave Safety Tips

By Bridget Day on 07 December 2016

We may only celebrate National Microwave Day once a year, but this is a household appliance that you use every day.  Safety is always a priority, so here are a handful of safety tips to bear in mind when using your microwave.

 Use your microwave safely

  • Keep door seals clean and check regularly for signs of wear or tear.
  • Microwaves must be kept in good working order to avoid leakage.  Make sure that the door closes properly, and locking devices are working correctly.
  • Most injuries related to microwave ovens are the result of heat-related burns from hot containers, overheated foods, or exploding liquids.
  • Liquids which are heated in a microwave may not appear to be boiling, but may boil up rapidly if stirred or shaken, so beware when handling to avoid scalding.
  • Certain materials may heat at different rates in a microwave and present a risk of exploding (think of eggs, squash cooked in shells etc.)
  • The rate of heating in a microwave can differ depending on the power rating of the oven, water content or amount of food being heated. Since microwave energy may not penetrate evenly, it may not cook all parts of the food properly, which could be a health risk.  Therefore, food must be stirred thoroughly while cooking, and should rest for several minutes after cooking is completed to allow the heat to distribute evenly. 
  • Remember never to switch on an empty microwave oven, as the microwave energy can reflect and cause damage to the mechanism.
  • Manufacturers recommend that metal items are not used in a microwave as it can cause electrical arcing and damage the oven walls. You should rather use glass, ceramic, and plastic containers suitable for microwave oven use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. The user manual will provide you with operating procedures and safety precautions.