From Freezer To Microwave: Using Plastic Containers Safely

From Freezer To Microwave: Using Plastic Containers Safely

In the fast-paced modern world, convenience is key. We often find ourselves relying on plastic containers to store and reheat our meals quickly and efficiently. However, concerns about the safety of using plastic containers in microwaves and freezers have led to confusion and apprehension among consumers. Can plastic containers really withstand the heat of the microwave and the low temperatures of freezers without leaching harmful chemicals into our food? In this article, we'll delve into the dos and don'ts of using plastic containers safely, ensuring that your meals are not only convenient but also free from potential health risks.

Understanding plastic types

Not all plastic containers are created equal. Each type of plastic is designated with a recycling code, usually found on the bottom of the container, which indicates its composition and properties. The most common types of plastics used in food containers are:

1. Polyethylene (PE, HDPE, LDPE)

These food-grade plastics are generally considered safe for use in food containers. They are durable and have a high resistance to heat, making them suitable for both freezing and microwaving.

2. Polypropylene (PP)

Like polyethylene, polypropylene is heat-resistant and commonly used in food containers. It is considered safe for use in the microwave, although it may not be suitable for prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

3. Polycarbonate (PC)

While polycarbonate containers are transparent and durable, they contain a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to adverse health effects. As a result, it's best to avoid using polycarbonate containers, especially in the microwave.

4. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

PET is commonly used for single-use plastic bottles but is less suitable for repeated use in the microwave or freezer, as it may degrade over time and leach chemicals into food.

Safety tips for using plastic containers

  • Check the label: Look for containers labelled as "microwave-safe" or "freezer-safe." These containers are specifically designed to withstand the temperatures associated with microwaving and freezing without leaching harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid high heat: While many plastic containers are safe for use in the microwave, it's best to avoid exposing them to excessive heat for prolonged periods. Use shorter microwave intervals and lower power settings to minimise the risk of overheating. 
  • Avoid scratched or damaged containers: Scratched or damaged plastic containers may harbour bacteria and leach harmful chemicals more easily. Replace any containers that show signs of wear and tear to ensure the safety of your food.
  • Use microwave-safe covers: When microwaving food in plastic containers, use microwave-safe covers or vented lids to allow steam to escape and prevent pressure build-up. This helps to evenly distribute heat and reduce the risk of hot spots.
  • Let food cool before sealing: Allow hot food to cool slightly before sealing it in a plastic container for storage. This helps to prevent condensation and moisture build-up, which can compromise the integrity of the container and increase the risk of chemical leaching.
  • Hand wash plastic containers: While many plastic containers are dishwasher-safe, hand washing is gentler and helps to prolong their lifespan. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that may scratch the surface of your PET round container.


In conclusion, using plastic containers safely in the freezer and microwave is entirely possible with the right knowledge and precautions. By understanding the different types of plastics and their properties, as well as following safety tips such as checking labels, avoiding high heat, and using microwave-safe covers, you can enjoy the convenience of plastic containers without compromising your health.

When it comes to sourcing high-quality disposable food packaging that prioritise safety and durability, Supply Smiths offers a wide range of options to suit your needs. Whether you are looking for a take away box or a disposable food container, you can trust Supply Smiths to deliver convenience without compromise.

Remember, convenience should never come at the expense of safety. By taking the necessary precautions and making informed choices, you can ensure that your meals are not only convenient but also safe and healthy for you and your family.