As a registered dietitian, I facilitate workshops for pregnant women at two of the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Programs (CPNPs) in Toronto. A common question I am asked is if plastic can be placed in the microwave to warm up food or drinks.
We, at Toronto Public Health (TPH), recommend that plastic not be used in the microwave, because there are substances in the plastic that can get into food or drinks when heated.
It is also recommended to not place food or drinks in plastic until the food or drink has cooled down to room temperature. One of these substances used in making some plastic, is called BPA (bisphenol A). It can affect the normal body processes particularly the way hormones work. This can harm health. Throw out any plastic that appears scratched or cracked.
5 tips to reduce BPA exposure in your food:
- Choose containers like ceramic, stainless steel, or glass containers instead of plastic to store food or drinks that are hot
- Wait until food or drinks have cooled down to room temperature before adding them to plastic containers.
- Try not to use plastic in the microwave, even if the container says that it’s safe in the microwave. There could still be substances in the plastic that could get into food or drinks and harm your health.
- Try to reduce the plastic that you use in your house when you make, serve, or heat food or drinks.
- Buy foods that are fresh or frozen as often as you can, as there may be BPA in the lining of cans.
Comment below and share your tips on how you keep your family safe from BPA exposure.
Here’s some great resources for more detailed information:
- Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and the Environment (CPCHE)
- Hidden Exposures: Informing pregnant women and families about harmful environmental exposures
If you have any questions/concerns, please connect with us via eChat or call (416) 338-7600 to speak with a health professional.