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How safe is a microwave oven and how do I check for leakage?

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Microwave ovens have at least two safety switches. When the door is open, the electrical circuit to the microwave energy cannot be produced. In addition, a monitor switch is used to ensure proper operation of the two safety interlocks. In the event of failure of both safety interlocks, the monitor blows an internal oven fuse and the oven is disabled until serviced. The proper way to test for a leak is to have the microwave oven tested using a properly designed instrument by a qualified technician. It takes a very accurate instrument to do the test correctly. PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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