Are Styrofoam Containers Microwave Safe?

It’s the end of a long day, and you reach into the fridge, pull out a Styrofoam container of last night’s leftovers and instinctively put the container in the microwave oven. Before you set the cooking time on your new Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven, you stop and think to yourself, “is it safe to microwave a Styrofoam container?” The short answer to this question is probably not.

Not all Styrofoam is created equal; some Styrofoam containers are microwave safe while others are not. The best way to know is to read the packaging of the container and see if it reads “microwave safe.” If you don’t see any indicators that show that your container is microwave safe, don’t risk it, as the risks far outweigh the benefits. The FDA does extensive testing on various Styrofoam containers to ensure consumer safety.

Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, a type of plastic that contains the toxic chemical compounds of styrene and benzene. When heated to high temperatures, these chemicals can leach out and contaminate the food or beverage that is in contact with the Styrofoam. The real danger is when the Styrofoam contains are heated to over 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It is at 212 degrees where the container begins to melt and release noxious and carcinogenic styrene gas, which is hazardous to our health as well as the environment. Additionally, when the food or beverages get hot enough, they have the possibility of melting right through the Styrofoam container, causing a significant and unnecessary mess.

Remember that the best thing to do if you are unsure whether your Styrofoam container is microwave-safe or not is to simply transfer the contents of your container to a glass, ceramic, or microwave-safe container. By doing so, you are ensured that no toxic chemical will leach into your food, keeping you safe from containments.

So go ahead, go microwave last night’s leftovers to your heart’s delight, just please remember to transfer your food to a microwave-safe dish or container first.

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About Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA)

SHCA is the U.S. Consumer Products Group of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the U.S. sales subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products. SHCA includes the manufacturing of certain Home Appliances in Memphis, TN, together with the sales & marketing and servicing of Home Electronics in the United States.  Leading products include Sharp Carousel(R), Microwave DrawerTM, SuperSteam+TM ovens, and Plasmacluster(R) Ion air purifiers. Sharp Corporation was named one of the 20 Most Loved Companies globally, received a 2018 Thomson Reuters TOP 100 Global Technology Leader Award, and appears on the Forbes America’s Best Employers 2017 list.1

Sharp, Carousel, Microwave Drawer, SuperSteam+, Plasmacluster, Healsio, and all related trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sharp Corporation and/or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

1 Sources: Buyology Inc., 2012; APCO Worldwide, 2013; Forbes, 2017; thomsonreuters.com

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