Updated on March 6, 2023
Who doesn’t like hot food? If you just want to toss your favorite food in the oven before serving it, then you should first plate it out. Styrofoam is a convenient and light material that is dominating the food industry when it comes to food delivery and packaging. Your food is leakproof in these. But if you want to use these food delivery boxes offered by almost all food chains out there as a food heating utensil in your oven, then you should turn down the idea. If you have tried it before then you might have noticed a strange smell and taste added to your food.
This change in taste is because of the styrofoam packaging in which you had your food. When such material is placed inside an oven or a microwave, the styrofoam is exposed to heat which brings about change in its build and structure of it. The foam material can melt and can even turn out to burn. If the food inside it has a soupy texture then it can leak inside your oven leading to a mess. Such stains and spilled food can become a nightmare when it comes to getting it off. If you also love ordering food at home, then you might have wondered how can styrofoam go in the oven.
What Is Styrofoam And Why It Needs To Be In The Oven?
Styrofoam or polystyrene is something that you usually see your food in. The main base material of styrofoam is styrene. The expanded styrene material gives it a foam-like appearance and feel. Being petroleum based it is waterproof and doesn’t get soggy like paper bags and boxes. Polystyrene is ideal for carrying liquid and soupy content while delivering it to the customer. You might have used it to eat your takeaway food or some snacks on a family picnic.
Apart from the packaging boxes, there are styrofoam plates and cups which you can utilize when needed. The restaurant outlets serve takeaway food in it. The customers also find it convenient as they can eat with ease without worrying about doing the dishes. You can simply eat your comforting food in the styrofoam container and throw it away. But there can be situations like late delivery or leftover food which might tempt you to give your food a round in the microwave or gas oven for a minute or so. Should you do it or not? Scroll down to find out the answer to this one.
Can Styrofoam Go In The Oven?
The straightforward answer to this question is absolutely not. You should make sure that no matter how tired or laid back you feel, it is essential to get your food out of the blue board material first. If you want warm food then you need to put a little more effort and get a plate or bowl to put your food in before putting it in the oven. Why is that so? It is simply because these polystyrene materials are sensitive to heat.
Even though food chains serve hot food in them, when you put the whole container itself in the oven, then things can get worse. Whether you put it in the microwave or in the gas oven it will easily be noticed that the container is not as stiff and as strong when heated. This can happen if the temperature is above 100-degree celsius, but if it exceeds 240 celsius you will visibly see the container melting inside the oven. You will surely smell the burning scent coming out of the oven when you open the door.
What Is The Problem?
The base material styrene is the one responsible. Apart from the taste change, smell, or burnt and leaking container, when you put styrofoam in an oven something really dangerous is happening. Putting your food in the oven while it is in polystyrene packaging is like taking your life yourself. The chemicals melt along with the container and contaminate the food. Styrene is a carcinogen that is linked to leukemia. If you heat your food in the oven inside a styrofoam packaging then you should right away head towards the hospital.
Even though many people prefer styrofoam material over plastic containers, both are equally harmful to your health. The styrofoam is heat sensitive and when exposed to heat higher than 250 celsius it movies with your food. The chemicals enter your body via your contaminated food. This can make you more prone to cancer. If you are wondering if styrofoam can go in the oven, then you should never let it enter your mind again. Stay healthy.