Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding Commercial Food Service Products. If you have additional questions, please go here.
DO MICROWAVES RUIN FOOD?
A microwave oven is like any other piece of kitchen equipment; there are things it does well and things it doesn't do well. I wouldn't try to bake bread in a deep fryer and I wouldn't try to cook a roast in a microwave. A microwave lends itself to food items that are high in moisture, like vegetables, seafood, many cooked pasta and grain items and of course, to defrost and reheat prepared foods. Utilize a microwave for ""Moist Heat"" cooking applications - Poaching, Steaming etc.
DON'T MICROWAVES EMIT RADIATION?
Microwave ovens, when properly functioning, do not expose users to any microwave radiation at all. There are many safety interlocks engineered into a microwave oven so that, if there is a chance of energy escaping the cavity, the oven is designed not to operate.
ARE MICROWAVES DANGEROUS TO PEOPLE WITH PACEMAKERS?
According to OSHA, the primary governmental agency for safety and health, it is no longer a requirement that an establishment post the sign "Warning, Microwave Oven in use." Two things happened in 1976 to change their minds: First, the Federal Communications Commission began regulating the frequencies that microwave ovens use, hence, minimizing the amount of interference that they might have on pacemakers and various other electronic devices (IE television sets, radios, cordless telephones, etc). Additionally, medical science made breakthroughs in the mid 1970's allowing pacemakers to be worn inside the body. These are shielded from all sorts of interference.
ARE MICROWAVES ONLY GOOD FOR REHEATING?
No. Microwaves are excellent steamers. The USDA and FDA require that foods be cooked covered in a microwave oven. This accomplishes 4 things:
- Covering speeds the cooking by using 2 technologies: Steam AND microwave
- Covering evens the temperatures across the food that is being cooked
- Covering retains moisture, resulting in a higher quality finished product.
- Covering keeps the inside of the oven clean
Always cover food that is to be cooked in a microwave. So, when you think of microwaves, think steam. There are several companies that make microwave safe cooking containers (Cambro's "H" Pan for example) that come with the proper lids. These are recommended. See our "Useful Links" section for more information.
DO FOODS COOKED IN A MICROWAVE LOSE THEIR NUTRITIONAL VALUE?
Cornell University released a study on the effects of different cooking methods on the nutritional quality of different foods. They looked at vitamin C and its levels after boiling, steaming and microwaving. It was determined that up to seven times more nutrients are retained with microwave cooking than with the other methods.