microwave dinner dishes: don't reuse?

I know part of me is just jonesing for the good old days of TV-style dinners that came on plates you could nuke or put in the oven, but am I the only one having problems with the newer microwave dishes?

Most of the food I’ve bought frozen these days are packaged in coated plastic bowls or plates, designed to (usually) withstand a single use. However, a dish I purchased recently was in an all-plastic container that looked as though it would stand re-use.

So I washed the dish and stacked it away; then the next time I had dinner leftovers, I packed a serving into the dish, covered it with the new “Press and Seal” Glad Wrap stuff (which isn’t as awesome as the commercials claim) and froze it. A few weeks later, I took it to work and had my meal for lunch.

Wash, rinse, repeat, repack, refreeze, renuke, re-eat. Wash the plate. Put it on a shelf in my office. Fugghetaboutit.

Here I am, probably two months later, and I see the dish on my shelf. I pick it up, afraid of what might be growing in there (I’m notorious for forgetting to rnise out dishes) and instead of mold or other fungi (as I did actually remember to wash the dish) I see three small “melt” holes in the dish.


So, plastic that deteriorates in the microwave on the third (or fourth) use is magically okay the first time through?

The engineers set the Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) at 5 minutes, that is that it will withstand at least 5 minutes in the microwave.

I mean you bought the meal for the FOOD right?!? Can you blame them for making the tray as cheap as possible? You’re lucky it doesn’t cause you bodily harm during the second use!

Now that I’m really thinking about it, the engineers know that the first time it is used, it will be loaded with food. So then they could make the tray cheaper knowing that the food is going to absorb most of the microwave energy.

Just for fun, go down to the local Goodwill and look for a decent microwaveable bowl and spoon. You’d think there would be a lot of them, but in my area the bowls were not to my likeing and spoons were almost non-existent. I can understand heroin addicts getting the spoons, but why no bowls?

p.s. Is that the kind of answer you were looking for?