How Long Is Pizza Good For In The Fridge? Pizza is one of the most popular dishes eaten in the United States. The first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, opened in New York City in 1905. Since then, restaurants have begun popping up all over the country. Toppings vary and so do crust options but everyone likes pizza, especially with a side of ice-cold beer, soda, or a glass of red wine.
Pizza is delicious and can be quite filling. But do you know how long the pizza will stay good after cooking? And what about in the fridge? The following article explains how long pizza is good for and the best storage procedures for keeping your pizza at its peak freshness…
The Expiration Date Of A Normal Pizza
The expiration date of a regular pizza varies from 1 to 2 days. The exact time depends on the type of pizza, the temperature, and the way you store it.
How Long Is Pizza Good For At Room Temperature?
Whether or not it is covered, pizza lasts for only four hours at room temperature before becoming unsafe to eat. The length of time it lasts depends on whether it is cut into pieces or is whole.
Pizza that is whole and has never been cut
If your pizza is unopened and uncut, it can be left at room temperature until its “best by” date has passed. Assuming it hasn’t been stored in direct sunlight or exposed to high temperatures, it should be fine for an additional 2-3 days. If you have doubt about whether the pizza is good or not, look for signs such as mold spots, a dry and hard texture, or a sour smell. The taste test is not recommended because if the pizza does happen to go bad, you’ll be exposing yourself to bacteria and foodborne illnesses.
Pizza that has been sliced
If your pizza has already been cut into pieces and left sitting out overnight, there’s no point in even trying the “smell test.” It will almost certainly smell bad if it has gone bad. Eating a piece of bad pizza may cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
How Long Is Pizza Good For In The Fridge?
The short answer is that it depends on the type of pizza. Like many other leftovers, pizza can last for a few days in the refrigerator. You can store fresh pizza and cooked pizza in the fridge. The only difference is how you should do it.
Fresh pizza with toppings
If you’ve made a fresh homemade pizza or ordered one from a restaurant, you may wonder how long it will last in the fridge before going bad. The USDA recommends no more than 4 days, including the day you made it. This applies to both homemade and store-bought pizzas with perishable toppings such as meat and vegetables.
A plain cheese pizza without any toppings
If your cheese pizza has no toppings, then you can store it in the fridge for three to five days. If you have bought a frozen cheese pizza, then you should keep it in the fridge for around five to seven days (provided that you don’t open the box). After that time, make sure that you throw away the pizza because otherwise, you risk getting food poisoning from spoiled food. Make sure the pizza is wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, so it does not dry out or get contaminated with bacteria or mold spores floating around in your fridge.
You can safely keep the cooked pizza in the refrigerator for about four days, though it will likely become dry and lose some of its flavors after being stored for so long. Cooked pizza can be frozen for up to three months without significant loss of quality or taste.
Dangers Of Eating Spoiled Pizza
Just like with other foods, one of the dangers of eating spoiled pizza is an upset stomach. The longer food sits out, the more opportunity bacteria has to grow on it. If you eat tainted food, your body will usually try to reject it by causing vomiting or diarrhea. This helps clear out the toxins and make your body feel better. While this can be unpleasant in itself, it’s important to listen to your body and let yourself purge the bad food so you can get back to feeling normal again.
Nausea and vomiting
Even if your pizza has only been sitting out for an hour or two, you can get an upset stomach from eating it. This is because when pizza cools off after being cooked, staphylococcus aureus bacteria start to grow on its surface. This bacteria can cause nausea and vomiting within four hours of consumption in some cases. The bacteria continue to grow in your stomach and can cause problems for up to 12 hours after eating pizza.
Eating spoiled pizza is a bad idea because it could make you feel sick or get you into a food coma in the event of eating it. Because the bacteria can live for up to 12 hours after consumption, an upset stomach from eating spoiled pizza is not something that can be brushed off in 30 minutes or even two hours later.
Heartburn is a common side effect of eating spoiled food, especially pizza. Pizza contains cheese and tomato sauce, which are known for causing heartburn. If you eat pizza that has been left out overnight, your stomach may become upset and cause acid reflux and heartburn due to the bacteria growth on the food. While this may not be serious, it can definitely impact your quality of life while you’re experiencing it.
Diarrhea caused by food poisoning will generally resolve itself within 24 to 48 hours. If your symptoms don’t improve, or if you experience severe cramping and blood in your stool, seek medical attention immediately. Diarrhea that lasts more than two days can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can be very dangerous in children and seniors.
How To Reheat Your Pizza Leftovers
It’s quick, easy, and convenient. But is it really the best way to heat your pizza? The answer is no. By heating in the microwave, the crust becomes soggy and the cheese rubbery. The heat is distributed unevenly throughout the pizza, which means some parts are too cold while others are too hot.
The only exception is if you live alone at college with a mini-fridge and a microwave oven (which is what I had when I was at school). In that case, use whatever you have available to get your pizza warm again. Otherwise, here are 2 better ways to heat your pizza:
There are two ways to use your oven to reheat pizza. You can go low and slow — at 275 degrees Fahrenheit — and let your pizza heat for about 20 minutes if it’s still frozen; 15 minutes if it’s thawed out; or 10 minutes if it’s fresh. You’ll want to use an aluminum pan or baking sheet rather than placing the slice directly on the oven rack.
You can also crank up the heat to 450 degrees F, and reheat your pizza for five to eight minutes (frozen or thawed) or two to four minutes (fresh). However you do it, place the slice on a plate to catch any dripping.
The air fryer.
The air fryer is a type of convection oven that moves hot air around the food, usually with the help of a fan. It’s efficient and quick at heating both frozen foods and leftovers, but it’s not the best method for reheating pizza.
Air fryers can dry out food, so pizzas with a high moisture content—like veggie or meat-lovers—may emerge somewhat shriveled and chewy. That said, if you prefer your pizza on the crunchy side, this is a viable option.
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes. Place the slice of pizza inside and cook for three to five minutes or until warmed through.
The best way to reheat pizza is in a skillet, which can recreate a lot of the qualities of fresh pizza. Start by heating the skillet over medium heat (cast iron works particularly well). Then add a little olive oil or cooking fat of your choice and let it get hot.
Don’t go overboard, though — you’re not deep-frying the pizza. Add your slices and cook them for two minutes or so on each side, adding more oil as needed.
The stove top.
You can also reheat pizza in a pot or pan using a stovetop grill rack, which is made from metal bars that allow steam to escape while grilling veggies or meat. Place the rack in a pot over medium heat (you can add an inch or so of water underneath so it steams rather than burns) and cover with a lid or pan to trap some steam inside and help melt the cheese.
After two minutes or so, check the bottom of your slices; they should be crisp but not burned.
Tips To Store Pizza Leftovers In The Fridge Properly
Let it cool completely before refrigerating
When you put warm food in the fridge, the temperature in the refrigerator rises, which can lead to bacterial growth. Hence it is recommended that you let your pizza cool down completely before putting it in the fridge.
Keep it in foil, not plastic wrap
Wrapping pizza in plastic wrap is a common mistake that most people make. Plastic wrap traps moisture and can make your pizza soggy when you reheat it. Hence, you should use aluminum foil or parchment paper instead of plastic wraps
Place it in a zip-lock bag
If you are keeping your pizza for more than 2 days, then place it in a zip-lock bag and store it in the fridge. The zipper bag will help lock out extra air and keep your pizza fresh for longer. You can also use an airtight container to store pizza slices if you don’t have a zip-lock bag at hand.
It is better to store pizza in the fridge rather than in the freezer.
Even though most pizzerias sell frozen pies, I’d suggest don’t freeze leftover pizza at home because it can alter the taste of the pizza over time.
Keeping pizzas in the freezer can both damage and ruin them. To avoid this, try to use up your leftover pizza within three days after it’s been cooked. If you don’t, moisture from the outside of the pizza can end up on the inside and cause it to spoil.
Since there are many factors that go into the shelf life of pizza, it is very difficult to assign a definite number of days that homemade pizza can be stored. Instead, there are some general rules of thumb to determine when this food item should be thrown out. If you follow these rules, you will be able to enjoy your pizza for several days after making it.