Are Your Leftover Containers Microwave Safe?


When it comes to the food service industry, food safety and convenience are top priorities for consumers. Enjoying a sandwich or meal on the go in a quality takeout container is preferable for consumers. Still, a popular question remains: is it safe to reheat leftovers in takeout containers in the microwave?

Microwave safe food service containers are an optimal food service packaging solution for restaurants as they are versatile and ensure consumer convenience. However, what exactly makes a container microwave safe?

What Makes a Container Microwave Safe?

Not all takeout food service containers are created equal. Regarding polypropylene (i.e., plastic) containers, there are different types of material utilized to manufacture food service containers, and just because a container may look microwave-safe doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

The truth is that no federal regulation determines which plastics are considered microwave-safe vs unsafe. That designation is up to the manufacturer to decide and label.

Generally speaking, some polypropylene food service containers are safe to microwave as they are resistant to high temperatures, durable, and remain cool after microwaving. Containers made with #5 plastic, like Genpak’s Clover and ProView container lines, are microwavable. In addition to being microwave-safe, Clover and ProView containers are also durable, stackable, reusable, refrigerator-safe, and recyclable in certain municipalities.

Containers made from polystyrene (plastic #7), also known as foam takeout containers, are unsafe to reheat in the microwave. The key benefit of polystyrene containers is their superior insulation. However, when reheating food in a polystyrene container, it is recommended that consumers remove the food from the container.

Aside from plastic, Genpak also offers Harvest Fiber, an eco-conscious, microwavable line of containers. Genpak’s Harvest Fiber line contains eco-friendly hinged containers and tableware made from renewable materials.

To learn more about types of container materials and if there are microwavable, check out our article on ‘How To Tell If a Container Is Safe to Microwave.’

Browse Microwavable Food Service Packaging

Looking for food service container solutions that make your meals look great and can stand up to the heat of the microwave? Genpak has versatile packaging for nearly every food application. Shop our microwave safe containers including our Clover, ProView and Harvest Fiber container lines!