Microwave safety: Dos and don'ts for reheating food

- The debate over the safety of microwave ovens has been going on since they were first invented. According to the Harvard Medical School, microwaves can heat your food safely, but you do have to be concerned about the containers you put your food in when you use them.

Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian recently revealed she's gotten rid of the microwave in her family's kitchen because of concerns over the possibility that toxins (dioxins) from heated plastic containers can contaminate food when they're used in the microwave.  But the Harvard Medical School says plastics don't contain dioxins, which are compounds that are toxic and can cause cancer.

However, the school says, they can contain substances used to shape or stabilize plastic containers, like BPAs and phthalates. Those substances can indeed leach onto food and some have been linked to organ damage in animal studies, according to the Centers for Disease Control..

Even if microwaves aren't a danger, they may be robbing you of nutrition. Dr. Joel Kahn said microwaves break down the proteins in food that you actually want to eat,  

Is it possible to safely microwave your food? The Harvard Medical School says yes, but some precautions are necessary.

Here are some tips to help you use your microwave safely:

- Get rid of old plastic containers.

- Use glass containers to reheat food instead.

- Don't let plastic wrap touch your food while it's cooking.

- Don't re-purpose old food tubs (like margarine containers) as microwave containers.

- Don't use plastic zip top storage bags in the microwave.

Watch the video at the top of this story for more details on how to safely reheat food in the microwave.

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