What are rules about cooking lamb and chicken doner kebab? How many times can the spit be put in the fridge, then cooked again the next day? I have been to a kebab shop where the cook put a huge lamb vertical doner spit in front of the grill, totally frozen. He told me it would take about 20 mins till ready. I asked how many times he puts it back in the fridge. He replied, "Until it's all gone."

  • 3
    Kebab vans are known for being less hygienic than they could (should) be.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 19:25
  • 1
    also in the food industry you can mimic, generate and cover the taste of pretty much whatever you want . Beef gets a lot of alterations in many many cases for all kinds of reasons . Commented Nov 2, 2014 at 23:59

3 Answers 3



I am sure rules will vary depending on country etc and which jurisdiction and laws apply.

In England my country reheating a kebab would not be recommended *, although even as a customer it is possible to visit shops at opening time and observe that a part used Kebab has been loaded. Reheating it a second time is forbidden *.

Local Councils (District Councils etc.[D.C.]) enforce food safety, in accordance with National Regulations. Taking some random councils and their advice

Keeping part used kebabs or leftover sliced meat is not recommended. It is safer to use fresh doner kebabs each day, and minimise waste by selecting smaller sized blocks of meat that suit the demands of your business. ... When re-heating part used doner kebabs make sure the vertical spit is on full heat and the cooked meat is above +75 ̊C

throw away any meat you’ve sliced or left on the doner kebab when you close, do not cook or reheat it

keep your doner kebabs as small as possible to avoid food waste

Partly cooked meat which is left on the kebab must be thrown away as it [sic]food poisoning bacteria may be present

Raw meat on the spit must be cooled quickly within 1½ hours and put in the refrigerator away from other foods - stored in the bottom of the fridge so raw juices cannot drip onto cooked and ready to eat foods

* reheating a kebab would not be recommended

You can see Council advice may differ slightly. There are set rules on times and temperature and regulations saying these must be logged. In addition there is Health and Safety legislation requiring Risk Assessments. It appears some councils decide the safest method is to throw it all away at end of Service. Whereas others seem to accept all protocols will be rigorously followed, and there will be no cross contamination between batches of meats so uncooked meat may be frozen or chilled until the next day.

* Reheating it a second time is forbidden

No wiggle room on that one. Anyone with just the most basic hygiene training knows we are only allowed to reheat once.

[National] F.S.A https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/cooking-safely-in-your-business?

Reheating food

It is very important to reheat food properly to kill harmful bacteria that may have grown since the food was cooked.

Reheating means cooking again, not just warming up. Always reheat food until it is steaming hot all the way through. You can only reheat your food once.


If you really want to be technical, your lamb, chicken or any type of meat on a skewer or spit, vertical or horizontal, should be cooked and served fresh. At that point in time it is nice and juicy. The more you play with the meat, meaning leaving it to sit out, either being warmed or not, for hours, then putting it back in the fridge, is not good for a persons health, the health department does have problems with it, people do get sick, and although it is a practice with food vendors, the meat is tough, dry and is served doctored up with sauces, salsas or dressings to hide the inferior quality and taste of the meat, which is now old and not fresh. Think of it like this. How long do you let your meat stay outside after you eat it, put it in the fridge, take it out, cook it, or warm it up, and let's say, do it for 5 or 7 days? Not too appealing. Eat fresh, and leftovers next day, garbage day after.

  • I don't think this is really a complete answer; the basic rule of food safety is time in the danger zone. If you hold food hot enough, it's not dangerous, and if it's something that can tolerate long slow cooking, it's not going to hurt it. Not everything gets tough and dry after long cooking.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 5:47
  • Kebab or skewered lamb or chicken does not take that long to cook. It is not a long slow cook process. Even with meats that are piled up known as "swarma" are already cooked and recooked. The danger zone is that with the product of kebab, my experience is that we have not let it sit out but cooked it, served it, and stored it. In our business we never let any food stay out. We cooked, served and if the patrons wanted to take home, whether it was catering or restaurant, that was their choice.
    – user33210
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 6:01
  • Sorry, food gets old sitting out, that is the danger zone and one takes a risk leaving the food out, reheating it, cooling it, and so forth
    – user33210
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 6:11
  • Yes, reheating and cooling is risky. What I'm saying is that some things aren't cooled and reheated, they're kept hot continuously, and that's safe. There are simple rules to tell how much you can get away with before it's not safe, and you haven't really mentioned them in your answer. You've just said vague things like the health department having problems with it... eventually.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 6:24
  • I agree with you completely regarding keeping food hot continuously like a chafing dish or a steamer. This could even mean kebab. What I was specifically speaking about was kebab meat that is continuously turning on a spit layered, the heat turned on and off, hot and cold, heated to order. That was how I interpreted the question and answered it. The question had to do with "kebab" lamb and chicken, and a spit. The nature of "kebab" is skewered meat, and just to make sure, I made calls to my family and friends to make sure and my uncle, who is in his 90's from the "old country", said yes.
    – user33210
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 7:54

If any meat is heated correctly then its fine to eat. I would be less likely to trust a quiet shop however. As the busy ones turn over 2-3 lamb donners a day min. I never buy from a chippy that has a token spit.

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