Mildly unusual food safety type question...

I sometimes have a local product: fully cooked chili frozen in a clear plastic bag.

Years ago, when I first started with it, the main suggested “cooking” method was putting the bag in boiling water for twelve minutes. Sometime in the past few years, this changed: both stovetop and microwave instructions now have you remove it from the bag (thawed or not) to “cook.” I don’t know when this change happened or why — just that I’ve used the “old” method as more convenient for the past few years.

Can anyone think of any possible health-related reason (as opposed to practical — like to avoid having to deal with boiling water) for this change, like a new type of plastic that could leach carcinogens into the chili or something?

Thanks in advance.

My guess is that they’ve changed to a cheaper, thinner plastic that won’t reliably hold up to boiling. To avoid the occasional ruptured bag, they suggest that you empty the contents before heating. I think the plastic leaching when heated is also a possibility, but that requires more altruism from the company, which I generally assume is quite low.

Aha, that might be it. I didn’t think about that because I haven’t had a problem.

I wouldn’t know either way about altruism, though. I’m uncertain as to whether the possibility is enough to make me abandon the way I’ve been doing things, given that I like the fact I don’t have to dirty another pot or plate. shrug

It could also be to make sure that all of the contents get up to a safe temperature zone. In the bag, the center could still be at too low of a temperature to ensure that all of the potentially bad bugs are killed.