Does Microwaving Kill Bacteria? How the Heat is produced in the Oven?

Microwaving Kill Bacteria

In our busy lives, we find a fast way to cook/heat food. In that case, the microwave oven stands first to cook/heat food within a short period of time. But, does really the fast microwaving kill bacteria in the food and makes it ready for eating?

There are a hell lot of probable questions to pop up if you are the same as me meticulous in food hygiene. And it is important to know that, whether we are free from bacteria in the food or not?

Likewise, If you are the one who is searching for a similar question like me, then you have reached the right platform.

So, Does Microwaving Kill Bacteria? Well, yes. The produced heat in the oven is the actual reason for killing bacteria. But, the bacteria remain the same if the food is unevenly cooked.

Because heating/cooking food in microwave depends on some general factors.

If you are interested in knowing these factors, how the heat produced in the oven, the reasons behind it. lets us start without any delay.

How does Microwaving Kill Bacteria?

Generally killing of bacteria is possible by antibiotics and heating. Here, in the oven, the bacteria in the food killed by the amount of heat produced.

As said earlier, the heat produced in the oven kills bacteria at high temperatures.

The Minimum temperature is required to kill the bacteria is 130-degree Celsius. So, it is clear that the bacteria in the oven will get killed by the high temperature of heat.


What happens if the Food is not evenly cooked?

The produced heat is to be distributed evenly to food. If not, it leads to many cold spots and hot spots. The evenly cooked food allows the bacteria to grow and will result in food poisoning.

There are some factors for unevenly cooked food. It mainly depends on

  • Formation of Hot Spots and Cold Spots
  • Irregular dimensions of food

Before getting into the in-depth details of the factors for unevenly food, let us know how the oven is getting heated

How the Heat is produced in the Oven?

A microwave oven is nothing without microwaves. So, the main resource for the production of microwaves is a magnetron, a vacuum tube.

  • This microwave travels through a waveguide and enters into the oven cavity.
  • There, the waves get reflected back for several times and form microwave radiation.
  • The radiation then penetrates into the food and makes the water molecules in the food to vibrate.
  • This vibration is the reason for the production of heat in the food.
  • Well, the main reason for the production of heat is due to the vibration produced in the water molecules of food.
  • The vibration of water molecules is due to the penetration of microwave radiation into food.
  • Now get into the main topic of factors behind it.

Factors for Unevenly Cooked Food:

Namely, there are 2 factors that cook the food in the oven unevenly.

Formation of Hot Spots and Cold Spots

The microwaves are the electromagnetic waves and also called the standing waves which are the actual reason for the formation of hot and cold spots. These standing waves have nodes and anti-node spots, the areas of anti-node heat food and the area of nodes will lead to cold spots in the food.

Also, check out the video for a clear understanding of visuals.

Irregular Dimensions of Food

The waves in the oven spread equally and cook food. If you keep the food with irregular dimensions like shape and size will leave the food uncooked with a thicker surface.


So, make sure that you keep the food in the oven with the correct shape and size and don’t worry about microwaving, it will kill bacteria for sure. Happy cooking!!!!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do microwaves sterilize? No, the heat in the oven sterilizes the things but not by the microwaves in the oven.

Does microwave kill cold germs? Yes, by keeping damp clothes with cold germs will allow the kill by the heat produced in the oven. Because cold germs in the clothes which are damp contain the water molecules and the oven heat up by vibrating those water molecules.

Can a microwave kill a virus? The heat generated in the food will kill all the viruses, microorganisms in food completely.

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