Q. Our community centre has a big lunch coming up and we’ll be serving upwards of 300 people throughout the day using paper plates. We were hoping to portion the frozen foods, such as lasagna, quiches and pies onto the paper plates and pop the in the microwaves to thaw and get them ready for attendees to eat, but one of our members asked if it’s safe to put paper plates in the microwave and we really don’t know. So now our plan is up in the air until we can find out. Can you microwave paper plates?
A. Paper plates were created a little over a hundred years ago by Martin Keyes. With the help of family members and other investors, Keyes formed the Keyes Fibre Company and began producing paper plates in 1904.
Modern paper plates are lightweight but sturdy. They’ll hold your pretty much anything you want to put on them and when you’re done you can throw them in the recycling bin and you don’t need to wash dishes.
These days, paper plates can be found in the kitchens of most households. Their convenience is unparalleled and they’re usually quite inexpensive, but can you put paper plates in the microwave?
Yes, most paper plates, cups and napkins are safe to use in the microwave. Microwaves work by agitating water molecules so paper is not at risk of catching fire in the microwave. According to the USDA, if using in the microwave, it’s best to use plain white ones without any printing or decoration on them.
Don’t use paper with wax coatings or coloured designs and look for paper dishes that are plain white and marked microwave safe to be sure.