Does The Microwave Kill Viruses?

does the microwave kill viruses

Your microwave oven is highly effective at killing viruses when used correctly.

The CDC recommends you heat your food to 167°F (75°C) to make it safe to eat. At that temperature, most bacterial, viral and other pathogens will become inactivated.

Most types of virus deactivate after exposure to a temperature somewhere between 50-70°C (122-158°F). All viruses are different, so be safe, and heat all your food to the required level of 167°F.

The microwaves themselves (short length radio waves) do not kill viruses directly but the can be killed by the heat produced by the microwaves.

The best course of action is to use a thermometer to check your food has reached the right temperature. Be careful to check multiple points in the food to check the heat has spread evenly. Uneven heating and cool spots are a real risk with microwaves.

If you don’t own a thermometer, aim to overheat your food in the microwave so the food is piping hot as it leaves the oven. Let it stand for 2-3 minutes for the heat to dissipate.

When you eat, there should be no cool spots, this is dangerous as the heat may be too low to kill viruses.