Food safety is an important aspect of home living that is often overlooked. For the most part, we simply follow best before dates, expiration dates, or do a simple smell test to see if certain foods are still good to eat or not. Sometimes, we even assume that heating food is an easy solution to making something safe to consume.
However, did you know there are just some foods you shouldn't microwave at all? There are actually some foods you may regularly microwave that pose a health risk when heated or reheated. From toxin exposures to potential explosions, here are five foods you should never ever microwave.
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#1 Raw rice
You should probably stick to cooking rice in a rice cooker. According to the UK's Food Standards Agency, raw rice of any variety (jasmine, brown, basmati, etc.) is riddled with potentially harmful bacterial spores which can cause food poisoning. Microwaving raw rice will release those spores rather than kill them, which makes it unsafe to consume.
Not sure why you'd want to heat up grapes in the microwave in the first place, but if you were thinking about it, you should think again. Microwaving grapes won't turn them into raisins, as one might believe. Instead, you'll immediately set them on fire. Unless you want to consume a bunch of tiny little fireballs, you'd better keep the grapes away from the 'wave.
#3 Frozen meat
Despite the fact that most microwaves have a thaw feature for frozen meats now, you should probably avoid using it. In order to safely thaw frozen meats in the microwave, you need to ensure the heat is distributed as evenly as possible. If it isn't there's a chance that you'll end up with a slab containing hot spots and cold spots, the latter being the more dangerous as it would still contain dangerous bacteria. Maybe try not forgetting to take your meats out of the freezer to thaw.
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#4 Chili peppers
Chili peppers contain a chemical component called capsaicin, which determines their spiciness level. When heated, the capsaicin vaporizes and gives off harmful fumes that are bad to inhale. There's no risk of the chili peppers exploding in the microwave, but because of the fumes, you should avoid the microwave altogether.
#5 Eggs in shells
Want to hard boil an egg? You should probably just stick to the stove top. Microwaving eggs that are still in their shells can actually be kind of dangerous. The heat from the microwave will cause the inside of the eggs to steam, and as the pressure builds, the eggs will eventually explode. It can get real messy and dangerous.