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Q: Does one need to tovel a glass microwave tray/turntable?
A: The general rule is that metal or glass which is used in direct contact with food, requires tevillah before it is used for the first time. How about the glass tray/turntable in a microwave? Do people put food right onto the tray (in which case tevillah would be required) or is the food always in a bowl or on a plate (and there’s no need for tevillah)? We asked our Twitter users to help us by sharing how they use microwave ovens, and here’s what we found.
[Before we get to the results, two points of halacha need to be noted. Firstly, if a person uses the plate in direct contact with food even one time, they must perform tevillah (Rema YD 120:8). Secondly, if the food is not on a plate or in a bowl, but there is a mere napkin or tissue between the food and microwave tray, that is treated as if the food is right on the tray (see Tevillas Keilim, Chapter 1 footnote 7, and Ashrei HaIsh YD 9:2).]
The survey asked, “Do you put food right onto the microwave tray without a plate?”, and basically offered five choices: always, on a napkin, once in a while, rarely, and never. We received 85 responses broken down as follows:
1. Always……………………. No one
2. On a napkin…………….. 13 people (15%)
3. Once in a while………… 6 people (7%)
4. Rarely…………………….. 15 people (20%)
5. Never…………………….. 49 people (58%)
Thus, the 58% of people who never put food onto the microwave tray, would not be required to toveil that tray. [But if a family member chose to one day put the food right onto the tray, they would have to perform tevillah beforehand.] Those people who chose #2-#4 (on a napkin, once in a while, or rarely) would have to be toveil the tray before using it.
Thank you to all who helped us with this!