Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-Germ Microwave

UV light equiped microwave to sanitize surface of food
  [vote for,

Food sometimes is contaminated on the surface by things like flies and dust. A normal microwave does not decontaminate the surface like a normal oven, but normal ovens cook/reheat slowly.

The solution to this is to have a rather bright UV light in the microwave. This light would either come on for a few seconds at ~1000 watts or be on the entire time at ~50 watts.

The inside of the microwave would be uv reflective.
All seals would be wade of material not damaged by UV light.
The window would have a uv-proof plastic layer.

my-nep, Aug 02 2004


       "germ" was used to keep format of page intact.
Any mispellings are unavoidable as this computer crashes every time I try to load a word procesor with spelling correction.
Spelling errors should be put in seperate annotations - not with the acctual comments.
my-nep, Aug 02 2004

       I don't think you should be eating too much food with flies stuck to it, regardless of UV exposure...
luecke, Aug 02 2004

       Not stuck to it. Landed on by them.
my-nep, Aug 02 2004

       I thought plastic was one of the most succeptible materials to UV light.
destructionism, Aug 02 2004

       Yes, but what about people who don't have a microwave, hu?
marcooz, Aug 02 2004

       Microwave exposure isn't enough? What about the bottom of the food?
phoenix, Aug 03 2004

       Seems to me flies only come around picnic and outdoors food, and certain restaurants, I wouldn't have my microwave handy. But nice idea.
dentworth, Aug 03 2004

       Very intense light can 'penetrate' several centimetres into living tissue, but a cheese covered sardine lasagne is a different bucket of fish.
ConsulFlaminicus, Aug 03 2004

       This reminds me of a time I was tubing down a river. I had an amazing sunburn. It hurt to use some of my muscles. Apparently, meat is subject to UV light too.
destructionism, Aug 05 2004

       I like this because I saw them use UV light to sterilize apples on MythBusters on the Discovery Channel.
PollyNo9, Oct 05 2005

       I suspect microwaves sterilize too. If anyone has a lab with culture plates this would be easy to test, as follows.   

       1: Grow E Coli   

       2: Make serial dilutions of bacterial chunk. Plate them on a petri dish. 5 dishes for each solution. This will determine how many colony forming units there are per ml of solution.   

       3: For each concentration, make a series of petri dishes that you then microwave. The growth medium of the dish will simulate food with surface contamination, because that is exactly what it is.   

       4. See how different durations of microwaving cut down the number of colonies produced, as compared with the unmicrowaved control plates. One could also test other methods of food sterilization: freezing, refrigeration, salting etc. See if it makes a difference whether the lid is on or off.   

       This same procedure could be duplicated with UV light, and a conventional heat lamp. Overall this would make a stellar science project for a junior high student.
bungston, Oct 05 2005

       Once they've been microwaved and exposed to UV, those flies should be OK to eat. I wouldn't worry about it.
John I, Feb 15 2007

       Even though microwaves don't heat from the surface inwards, the food usually winds up hot enough on the outside to kill most bugs. And, as [phoenix] mentioned, what about the underside of the food, or what if bacteria are in crevices and crannies in the food?   

       [bungston] //I suspect microwaves sterilize too// I don't think so - why would they, except through heating? Anything much smaller than a microwave wavelength (which is on the order of a centimetre, I think?) is pretty much not bothered by it. Ants are generally quite content in a microwave oven; bacteria would be even happier.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 15 2007

       One simple solution:   

       Home food irradiation kits. Get some nice hot-gamma emitting material like cobalt 60 or whatever, a lead lined box, and vio'la! vacuum seal and deep freeze the food immediately and it'll keep for years.   

       Or just leave it a few minutes to cool off any sympathetic radiation, then feast away in microbe-free bliss. Gone are all your "my UV won't penetrate my food" dramas.
Custardguts, Feb 16 2007

       //sympathetic radiation// Say what?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 16 2007

       I read somewhere that after irradiation, you need to let food sit awhile. thinking aabout it, it's more likely to be a case of free-radicals, but I have some recollection that there is some residual activity for a short time. Nothing to back it up however.
Custardguts, Feb 17 2007

       ////sympathetic radiation// Say what?//   

       Aw, you mean you've never been comforted by a friendly radioactive particle?   

       "There, there... it's alright... you'll feel beta soon.   

       "Let me tell you something my gamma told me once. I'd just been dumped again (thorium my life!), when she gave me some beryllium advice. She said, "Ray, you're not a dirty bomb, you're a nice guy - girls like you. I'm sure lots of girls would love to be with you given alpha chance. So forget about your ex, Ray; thermal fission the sea. Just stay positive, and UV okay.""
imaginality, Feb 17 2007


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