Microwave Ovens in Break Rooms Safety Alert

November 2018

The following tips will help make the use of microwave ovens a safe method of food preparation:

  • Do not leave a microwave oven unattended when operating.
  • Use only microwave-safe, non-metallic containers and utensils.
  • Some recycled products including paper towels and waxed paper may contain minute metal flecks. The interaction between microwaves and the metal can cause sparks and even flames. To be safe, never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they are specifically approved for microwave use.
  • Unless marked “microwave safe” do not use plastic storage containers, foam trays and plastic wraps in microwave ovens because they are not heat stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping can occur.
  • Be careful when removing a wrapping or covering from a hot item. Hot steam escaping from the container, as the covering is lifted, can cause painful burns. 
  • When containers may only feel warm, rather than hot, they are sometimes handled with less caution. This can easily result in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid. 
  • ALWAYS clean up spills and splashes after heating food. Use the provided microwave covers to prevent splashes.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. This will stop the fan so it won’t feed oxygen to the flames. Wait until the fire suffocates. Never open the oven door until you are absolutely certain that the fire is out. 

If you have any questions regarding fire safety issues in your work area, please contact the ETA Safety Manager, Ron Scholtz at X8137.