SOP – Kitchen / F&B Production – Microwave Oven Usage And Safety

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Microwave Oven Usage and Safety Procedure

No chef shall misuse the microwave oven through lack of knowledge, and the principal use of microwave is as a heating process and not a basic form of preparation.

The Executive Chef and the Sous Chef should be responsible for ensuring that the microwave oven is used properly by the kitchen staff. The hotel training and HRD department should develop and implement proper written Kitchen SOP’s to ensure the same is implemented correctly throughout all the food preparation outlets.

Using Microwave Oven Standard Procedures:

Note: This SOP is for reference or example only, always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your and others’ safety, and also to avoid any injury while operating this equipment. 

  1. Certain precautions should be taken when using a microwave oven.
  2. Frozen prepared foods should be always thawed before heating.
  3. Metal objects should never be put in the cooking chamber.
  4. Sauces should be heated separately when possible.
  5. Dishes with sauces can easily splatter and the crockery should be covered with paper towels or plastic wrap.
  6. Covering the sauce dishes with paper towels or plastic wrap allows steam to escape during cooking.
  7. Dishes or containers used in the oven should be heat-tempered, ovenproof clear glass containers without metal trim, china, ceramics, or pottery without metal trim or metal base glaze.
  8. The preserving method for the food can cause taste changes during the heating process, therefore each dish must be seasoned and tasted before serving.
  9. Make sure that the microwave oven is kept spotlessly clean at all times.
  10. The oven should be turned on only when the door is closed and when there is food in the oven to avoid damaging the magnetron tube.
  11. Almost all products need to be prepared using one of the basic forms of preparation before being heated in the microwave oven.
  12. The microwave oven is particularly suitable for preparing convenience foods ie meals that have been pre-prepared and so require minimum further preparation by the chef before serving to the guests.

Safety Tips While Using The Microwave Oven:

  1. Always use only microwave-safe utensils when working with microwave ovens.
  2. Never attempt to heat articles that are not appropriate for use in microwave ovens.
  3. Always remove food from any plastic packaging before defrosting in a microwave oven.
  4. Never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they are specifically approved for microwave use.
  5. Some recycled products including paper towels may contain minute metal flecks and interaction between microwaves and such metal can cause sparks and even flames.
  6. If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately as this will then stop the fan so it won’t feed oxygen to the flames.

Training Summary questions:

Q1. What is the purpose of this SOP?

Q2. Why it is important to thaw the frozen food before heating it in the microwave? 

Q3. What are the precautions which need to be taken while using a microwave oven?

Q4. Give a few safety tips which need to be followed while using the microwave oven.

Q5. Why the microwave oven is particularly suitable for preparing convenience foods or re-heating only?

SOP Number: Kitchen / F&B Production SOP – 17
Department: Kitchen / Food Production - Microwave Oven
Date Issued: 29-Nov-2018
Time to Train: 20 Minutes
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