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Microwave Safety Tips and Rules

Updated on March 3, 2024
Microwave Heating and Safety

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Discover the most important do’s and don’ts to follow when using the office microwave. Most of these office microwave rules are common sense, but you can easily forget about or skip these basic rules altogether when you’re in a hurry.

Safety Tips

If not used properly, a microwave oven could cause potential damage to our premises or harm your own health. Avoid such hazards by learning these tips on using a microwave oven safely:

Exercise caution when heating water

We always have hot water in our ION water supply machine. You don’t really need to use our microwave to heat your water. But in case you do, please be aware that when you put water or a liquid-based substance in a microwave, it can get to boiling temperatures quite suddenly and can become severely hot. When removing the dish, you might want to consider wearing or having something that will protect your hands from the hot item. 

Confirm that the door shuts tightly

Microwaves need to work properly for safety reasons. Don’t use this appliance if its turntable rotates and the exhaust fan runs while the door remains open; this is not how it was built to work. If this is the case, please do not use the microwave and report this to our reception.

Never place metal items inside of the oven

We all should know this, but it happens to the best of us from time to time. If put in the microwave, aluminium foil could spark a fire, compromise food safety, or damage the equipment. The same goes for empty containers. 

Only use suitable ceramic, plastic, and glass dishes

Check the bottom of your container for the words “microwave safe.” The wrong materials may melt or harm the appliance by reflecting microwave radiation. It is important that what you’re putting in our microwave is safe. 

Don’t place sealed containers in the oven

They could inflict damage or injuries by exploding. Keep in mind that this can also happen if you cook certain foods without removing the shells.

Never activate this appliance when it’s empty

If you run your microwave with nothing in it, it might destroy the unit’s magnetron or start a fire. Unlike conventional and toaster ovens, a microwave oven never needs to be preheated before cooking, but it always needs some food substance to maintain safety. 

This equipment normally won’t affect a pacemaker

At one point in time, there was a concern that radiation leakage from a microwave could interfere with certain electronic cardiac pacemakers. Today’s pacemakers have been resolved to shield against such issues. Nonetheless, a faulty unit could trigger health problems. Turn off and unplug the appliance if it seems to cause palpitations or make you feel dizzy.

Remember to keep an eye on your microwave oven while it cooks food

Some things take longer to cook in the microwave than others. If you avoid leaving the room for long periods of time, you’ll have an opportunity to shut it off before a minor problem turns severe.


Reset the microwave settings if you change

The world will still continue to sPIN if you forget to do this step, but it’s common courtesy to clear the microwave from the settings you used after you’re finished heating up your food. This point is especially true if you lowered the microwave’s power level or changed to defrost mode.

Others in the office may be tired, in a hurry, or otherwise distracted by the time they arrive for lunch, and they may not notice the changes you’ve made. They’ll be unpleasantly surprised when they cook their microwavable meals for the time indicated and find that they’re still frozen.

If your colleagues notice that you’ve changed the settings, they’ll need to clear those settings before heating up their own lunch. While readjusting the settings is not a big deal sometimes, they’ll get irritated when this reset needs to happen every time they come into the office kitchen. Just push a button to reset the microwave settings after you’ve finished using it.

Clean up any spilled food

Do you diligently clean up the microwave when your soup overflows, or do you look around to see if anyone’s looking and then walk away from the mess, whistling innocently? If you’re the cleaning type, you can move on to the next section. If you’re not, well, if you want to be messy, be messy at home. Consider changing your behaviour when you’re in the office kitchen.

Even if a dirty microwave doesn’t bother you, other people dislike it intensely. Not too many people want to heat up their food in a microwave that has bits of crusty, dried-up soup on the turntable from the day your minestrone boiled over. Nor does anyone appreciate the pizza sauce splattered over the microwave sides from that day your microwavable pizza snack exploded. Most of all, nobody wants to clean up your mess. Spilled food may not seem too bad when it’s yours, but it is 10 times more unappealing when the mess is from another person’s food.

Make sure to clean out the microwave if your food overflows or splatters inside it. Food comes off easily with a paper towel and some water or cleaning spray. To prevent messy explosions, try covering your food with a paper towel or our plastic microwave cover the next time you heat up your lunch. When heating up soup or stew, try using a container with extra space at the top so that the soup is less likely to overflow.

Keep the cooking time minimal

Unless you’re taking your lunch break before or after everyone else, you’ll need to share the microwave. Three minutes is a reasonable amount of time to heat up your meal. Taking more time isn’t fair to your colleagues if they’re waiting to use the microwave. If for some reason, you need extra time to cook your meal, let others go first.

Certain actions raise more ire than others. The following list outlines some of the biggest complaints in the office kitchen. If you want to show good office kitchen etiquette, refrain from the following bad habits:.

Don’t leave your food in the microwave

You may occasionally leave your food in the microwave after it’s finished cooking. Maybe you received an important phone call on your cell, or maybe you got caught up in a fun conversation with your friend at work. Everyone gets distracted sometimes. However, you should keep an eye on your meal and remove it from the microwave as soon as it’s finished warming. Forgetting to remove your food can hold up the wait time for others or put them in the uncomfortable position of removing your food for you.

Even if you’re tempted to leave the room “just for a minute” while your meal heats, don’t do it. Is checking your email, returning a phone call, or whatever else so urgent that you can’t wait? If so, let someone else go ahead of you. Otherwise, stay in the same room, so you can take your lunch out of the microwave immediately.

Don’t take out your colleagues’ food Early

OK, now the following considerations are basic manners::. You shouldn’t remove someone’s meal from the microwave before it’s finished and then put your own inside. While they may have left the room, and maybe you can cook your lunch and leave without them noticing, it’s not a nice act to do.

What if the person is being inconsiderate and sets the timer for 10 minutes? In that case, you may as well quickly heat up your lunch, but that’s the exception to the rule. If you’re still there when the individual comes back into the room, you may want to explain what you did and why. Your explanation may make the person think twice about using the microwave for such a long time.

What if the microwave beeped and your co-worker’s food is sitting inside? In this situation, the proper office microwave etiquette is to wait 30 seconds so that the person can remove the food from the microwave. If the person doesn’t remove the food after the heating time is up, go ahead and remove it yourself.

Don’t heat up strong-smelling food

Yes, this rule may not seem fair when you can’t heat up your leftover fish from dinner last night. However, cooking isn’t fair for your colleagues and other Members who share the office kitchen with you and have to smell your lunch. As our lounge area and hot desks are next to the kitchen, the smell can spread as far as the work area, and other Members who sit and work in that section won’t feel happy.

While seafood is the main culprit, you should also avoid heating up eggs, heavily spiced foods, or vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts. If you enjoy a spicy meal, consider leaving out the seasonings while reheating it at work and adding the spices to your meal after you remove it from the microwave.

Can’t you give up your seafood? Please consider adding cold, precooked fish to salads or packing tuna sandwiches. You could also go out for lunch and order seafood at a restaurant.

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