How long should you cook a roast dinner? Safe timings for chicken, beef, lamb and pork according to NHS

Sunday Roasts are the perfect way to end the week

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If you are planning to cook a roast for your Sunday dinner this weekend you will want to make sure it is properly cooked!

Undercooked meat can cause you to have food poisoning. The NHS has issued advice to make sure you don’t accidentally leave yourself at risk of sickness.

Roast dinners are one of the best parts about a weekend. But if you want to make sure your meal is properly cooked you will want to make sure you have a thermometre on hand.

The NHS has advice for how long you should cook a range of different meats, including white and red meat. If you are on cooking duty, here’s all you need to know:

How long should you cook chicken, duck or pork?

NHS Scotland have issued the following advice for cooking white meat, writing: “Chicken, duck, pork and offal should always be cooked through until the core temperature reaches 75°C, there is no pink meat and the juices run clear. This will kill any harmful bacteria.

“These type of meats should never be eaten pink or rare.”

How long should you cook beef and lamb?

If you are planning to have red meat for your Sunday roast, NHS Scotland also has advice for beef and lamb. You are advised: “Beef and lamb steaks and whole joints (not rolled joints) can be served rare as long as the outside has been properly cooked (sealed), to kill any bacteria present on the surface.

“Always cook burgers and sausages made from these meats all the way through. This will kill harmful bacteria - including E. coli O157 - that might have been present on the surface of the meat and then mixed through after mincing.

“If possible, use a thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 75°C and make sure there’s no pink in the middle and the juices run clear.”

Roast Dinner Day is on November 4 in the UKRoast Dinner Day is on November 4 in the UK
Roast Dinner Day is on November 4 in the UK

How to tell if meat is cooked?

If you have reached the internal temperature the NHS recommends but you aren’t 100% sure if the meat is fully cooked, NHS Scotland has further advice. Home cooks are warned: “If you have a food thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 75°C.

“If you don’t have a food thermometer, the meat: shouldn’t be pink in the middle, juices should run clear, should be steaming hot throughout. To check whole birds, pierce the thickest part of the leg. For thicker joints, pierce the centre.”

Can you reheat cooked food?

If after you’ve successfully cooked your Sunday roast you are left with meat, you might be wondering if it is safe to reuse that food - to avoid letting it go to waste. NHS Scotland says: “When reheating food make sure that it’s steaming hot and heated all the way through to 75°C.

“Use chilled food within 2 days of cooking. If the food has been cooked, frozen and then defrosted, reheat within 24 hours. You should only ever reheat food once. The more times you cool and reheat food, the higher the risk of food poisoning.”