A microwave is a common appliance in homes with many Kenyans using it to reheat and in some cases to cook food.
Kenyans.co.ke spoke to nutrition experts to know the safety of using a microwave in heating food.
Speaking exclusively to Kenyans.co.ke, nutritionists Francis Kitela and Gladys Mugambi explained that a microwave is a good appliance if used properly.
“There are no main dangers involved in using a microwave as long as you adhere to the appliance’s instructions,” Kitela explained.
Mugambi concurred with Kitela by revealing that microwave is safe when you adhere to the required heat level and time.
“Foods like vegetables should ideally be fried but if it is a must you reheat them, make sure you heat lightly,” Mugambi advised.
Kenyans.co.ke further compiled a list of five common foods that Kenyans should avoid reheating using a microwave.
While it is allowed to reheat fried eggs, it is not advisable to heat boiled whole eggs in a microwave.
This is because the eggs can explode and not necessarily inside the microwave. They can also explode when you have served them on your plate.
Mugambi dissuades Kenyans from developing the habit of heating meat using a microwave.
“Any food that is microwaved for too long, including meat is denatured and becomes unhealthy to consume,” she warns.
Catalina Gonella a healthy living expert further reveals why in particular you should not microwave processed meat.
“Processed meat can contribute to the production of cholesterol oxidation products, which can be more harmful to arterial cells than pure cholesterol and are more directly connected to heart disease,” she explains.
While hard-boiled whole eggs can explode when microwaved, pepper can actually burst into flames.
Gonella further warns capsaicin, the chemical that makes hot peppers, is released during microwaving.
The capsaicin will be released into the air, causing your eyes to sting and your throat to burn.
It is advisable not to heat a baby’s milk using a microwave as it heats the milk unevenly resulting in 'hotspots' that scald a baby's mouth and throat.
Kitela warns Kenyans to be keen when warming cold rice using a microwave.
“There is a danger of getting sick if you do not heat rice properly. This is because uneven heating of rice that has the bacteria Bacillus Cereus will cause food poisoning,” he explains.
“The microwave itself is not to blame when it comes to food poisoning but it is how you use the appliance. Make sure you heat evenly and to the right temperature to make sure that all bacteria are killed,” he adds.