Skip to content

How to check your meat is cooked properly


Use a meat thermometer and the three food safety checks. 

When cooking meat it’s important to check that it is cooked thoroughly to protect yourself and others from food poisoning. Meat products that are minced or skewered along with poultry and pork products must always be cooked through to the centre. These meats include turkey, chicken, burgers, sausages and kebabs.

Use a meat thermometer to check that such meat is cooked to 75ºC. You should also check that there’s no pink meat, the juices run clear and that the meat is piping hot. Cooking meat properly kills the bacteria that cause food poisoning.

How to use a meat thermometer  

  • Take your food off the heat and insert a clean thermometer probe into the thickest part of the meat or poultry. It is fully cooked when the temperature reaches 75ºC.
  • The thickest part of the meat is usually the centre (for example, of a burger or sausage). In a whole chicken or turkey, the thickest part is between the breast and the leg.
  • You can use a digital or dial meat thermometer.
  • Always make sure you wash the meat thermometer thoroughly afterwards.

What if I don’t have a meat thermometer?

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, there are three visual checks that must done. Pierce the thickest part of the meat with a fork or skewer and check that: 

  1. The juices run clear
  2. It is piping hot all the way through (it should be steaming) 
  3. There is no pink meat left.

Here's some advice on cooking different types of meat

 


Related pages


Safefood Logo

Sign up for our latest healthy eating and recipe updates.

Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.

Confirm