If you’ve ever ordered too much pizza and fallen into a food coma, you’re bound to have forgotten to refrigerate the pizza. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This has happened to the best of us at some stage and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
It can be difficult to know just how much pizza to order, so it’s very common to over-order! Knowing how long your pizza can sit out is a very important part of enjoying the delicious pizza!
You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we have compiled all the information you need when it comes to the length of time the pizza can sit out.
You will also find some valuable information surrounding pizza, including the best ways to store your pizza, and much more! Let’s dive in.
How Long Can You Leave Your Pizza Out For?
It is recommended that you don’t leave your pizza out of the fridge for longer than two hours. We will go into more detail on this below!
Can You Leave Your Pizza Out Overnight?
If you’ve ever woken up the next morning to find all of your pizza was left out overnight, you’re not alone! We’re here to help you understand the good practices for storing your pizza, including how long you can leave it to sit out!
It is not OK to leave your pizza out overnight and eat it the next day. Even if it looks OK to eat, it is recommended that you do not eat pizza that has been left out overnight.
Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t leave your pizza out overnight!
Why Can You Not Eat Pizza That Has Been Left Out Overnight?
Some people think it is OK to eat pizza that has been left out all night. However, this is not true. Pizza that has been left out is not suitable for consumption as it can make you unwell.
No matter whether your pizza has been left out on the side or in the box, it will not be suitable to consume.
Pizza that is left out through the night will have grown bacteria. If it is kept at room temperature for a long period, it will not be safe to eat. If it is eaten, it can make you unwell.
This is because pizza is made up of a combination of different ingredients that are perishable. If you want to eat the pizza the next day, it will need to be refrigerated.
How Long Can You Leave Pizza Out For?
You must be aware that you can’t leave pizza out overnight. Now that you understand why this is the case, let’s take a look at how long you can leave your pizza out for it to remain edible!
Pizza can be kept at room temperature for around two hours before it becomes unsafe to eat. This is because pizza is made from many different ingredients that will grow bacteria if it is left at room temperature for a long time.
It is recommended that you don’t leave the pizza at room temperature for over two hours as this is when the bacteria will start to grow.
In warm temperatures, the amount of time you can leave pizza out is even lower. If your room is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you shouldn’t leave the pizza out for over an hour. In the heat, bacteria will grow at an increased rate.
How Long Can You Leave Takeaway Pizza Out For?
Whether you have left out ordered pizza or pizza that you have cooked at home, there is no difference in how long each one lasts out of the refrigerator. You should not eat any kind of pizza that has been left out for longer than two hours.
So, if you have left your pizza out in a room where the temperature is over 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit then you should not consume this pizza.
The pizza will be good for two hours in these conditions. If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the pizza will remain edible for around an hour. After this time, the bacteria will have started to form on the pizza making it dangerous to eat.
Whether you have left the pizza out for 4 hours, 6 hours, or overnight, the pizza will not be edible.
How Long Can Pizza Dough Be Left Out Of The Refrigerator?
As many different types of pizza dough contain different ingredients, there is no definitive answer to this question. In most cases, you can leave this dough out for up to four hours and it will remain fresh.
Some pizza doughs will be okay for use after 18 hours. However, in that time the pizza dough may have gone flat as the yeast may have over-proofed.
What Is The Ideal Temperature To Store Pizza?
When you have finished eating your pizza and you have some leftovers, it is important to be aware of the ideal temperature to store this pizza at. After two hours, you will need to ensure that you have put your pizza in the refrigerator.
To keep it fresh for longer, you should store the pizza in the refrigerator at a temperature that is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can keep pizza at a temperature between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for around 2 hours before it will start to go bad.
However, ideally, you will keep the pizza in the refrigerator from the moment you have finished with it. This way, it will have no time to go bad.
How Should You Preserve Pizza?
There are two ways to ensure that your leftover pizza remains edible. These are:
Eat The Pizza Within Two Hours
It is safe to eat pizza that has been left out for under two hours. The best way to ensure that pizza is safe to eat is by only keeping your pizza at room temperature for this length of time. Then, it will either need to be eaten or refrigerated.
Refrigerate The Pizza Immediately
Another way to ensure that your pizza is safe to eat is by placing it in the refrigerator if it is not being eaten. Once you have finished eating the pizza, put the rest in the refrigerator to stop it from going bad.
Do Certain Pizza Toppings Grow Bacteria More Quickly Than Others?
Eventually, every pizza topping will begin to grow bacteria. Some toppings will begin to grow bacteria more quickly than others. For instance, sweet toppings or glutinous crusts.
Pineapple and tomato attract bacteria more quickly than other pizza toppings. Mold will also grow very easily on cheese which is on every pizza! For this reason, pizza is at high risk of growing bacteria.
How Long Can A Pepperoni Pizza Sit Out?
If your pepperoni pizza was fresh when it arrived, you should not leave it out for any longer or shorter than all other pizza types. It should not sit out for longer than two hours if you are planning to eat the leftovers.
This pizza does have meat ingredients on it, and this can cause more problematic food poisoning symptoms.
This is because the bacteria that can form on the meat are very different from other types of food poisoning. You are much more likely to experience salmonella.
However, if you refrigerate your pizza after you have eaten it, there will be no issues. The leftovers will be okay for up to four days in this case.
How Long Can A Plain Cheese Pizza Sit Out?
Cheese pizzas should not be left out on the counter for longer than two hours. There is no difference between cheese pizzas and pizzas with toppings.
If the cheese pizza sits out for longer than two hours, bacteria may form on the pizza, which can put you at risk of developing food poisoning.
It is important to remember to refrigerate any leftovers as soon as you have finished eating because then they will be preserved for much longer. You don’t want to end up leaving the pizza out, resulting in these delicious slices going to waste!
Does Pizza Last Longer In The Box?
Leaving the pizza in the box does not change the length of time that the pizza will last. Any pizza that is left at room temperature for over two hours, whether in a box or not, will not be edible anymore.
If the pizza is closed in the box, this doesn’t mean that it will be preserved for longer because the bacteria are still able to grow. The only difference is that the pizza may not go stale as quickly if the box is closed.
Keeping the box closed while you are still eating the pizza can have a positive effect as the pizza will be nicer if it stays as warm as possible.
What Happens If You Eat Bad Pizza?
If you eat pizza that has been sitting out for over two hours, or overnight, you are at risk of getting food poisoning.
Food poisoning looks different on different people. Sometimes, it will make you slightly unwell, and other times it can cause you to be very seriously sick.
There are lots of different forms of food poisoning including bacillus cereus, salmonella, and listeria.
Listeria will often develop on your pizza over time, but it may develop more slowly than other bacteria. It will cause flu-like symptoms if you eat pizza that has been infected with listeria.
This is a type of bacterial food poisoning that comes from eating infected food. You will often see symptoms of this within six hours of becoming infected and you will likely experience flu-like symptoms.
Salmonella is another type of bacteria. It is not typically found on pizza that has been left out overnight, but it can be found in some cases. This usually grows when you touch food without washing your hands.
This is a type of bacteria that can get into your pizza if it is left out. It usually comes from not washing your hands or from a sickness that travels through the air.
If you leave your pizza out overnight, you are likely to suffer by coming into contact with germs that you don’t want to encounter. These germs can sometimes make you very unwell if they are eaten.
When Should You Go To The Doctor For Food Poisoning?
In most cases, you will get better on your own after a few days. However, in certain situations, food poisoning can become very serious.
When you become sick, ensure that you keep an eye on your temperature and ensure that you do not become dehydrated.
If you do experience dehydration or your temperature is very high, seek medical attention immediately.
Can Food Poisoning Be Contagious?
Most cases of food poisoning are not contagious as they are obtained through eating food that has gone bad. However, there are a few different strains of bacteria that become contagious when you eat food that has gone bad that contains this bacteria.
To prevent the spreading of this bacteria, ensure you wash your hands and sanitize regularly. You should also wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have been contaminated.
You should also ensure that you throw away the pizza that caused you to get ill. You don’t want someone else making the same mistake as you!
Can You Reheat Pizza To Kill Germs?
It is a common belief that if you have left your pizza out overnight, you can reheat it to kill any of the germs that may have grown overnight. While this helps in some cases, it will not be effective in killing off all of the germs that have grown on your pizza.
As you will not be able to tell if the bacteria on your pizza has been killed off, you should not risk eating pizza that has been left out and then reheated.
Can You Tell If A Pizza Has Grown Bacteria?
It is quite difficult to identify bad pizza because you can’t see bacteria when it starts to grow on your pizza. The only way to tell if a pizza is okay to eat or not is by noting the amount of time the pizza has sat out for.
To tell if your pizza has gone bad, you should monitor the amount of time your pizza has been exposed to bacteria growth.
Should You Cover Your Pizza When It Is Left Out?
If you are leaving your pizza out for more than two hours, no matter how you store it, it will not be safe to eat. However, there are some ways that you can ensure that your pizza is kept safe during the two hours that it is left out. These are:
Keep The Pizza Warm
Keeping your pizza warm while it is out means that it will be much more enjoyable to those who are eating it. It will also mean that the pizza will last without growing bacteria.
Close The Box
Closing the box on the pizza will ensure that you retain some of the heat. The pizza will be much more enjoyable and it will remain safe for two hours at room temperature.
Wrap The Pizza In Aluminum Foil
You can also maintain the heat in the pizza by wrapping the pizza in aluminum foil. This will trap some of the heat.
Set A Timer
To ensure that your pizza remains safe to eat, you can always set a timer for two hours. After this time, you can then place your pizza in the refrigerator to ensure that it doesn’t sit out for too long and go bad.
How Should You Store Your Pizza?
Understanding how to best store your pizza is very important when it comes to preventing your pizza from going bad. Let’s look into some of the best ways to store your pizza.
You can store your pizza in three different ways. These are at room temperature, in the freezer, and in the refrigerator.
When storing your pizza, you will need to know how long the pizza has been in each of these things.
Depending on how you put your pizza in the refrigerator or freezer, there will be a difference in how long it can be stored in these ways. Let’s take a look.
No matter how you store your pizza at room temperature, it should not be stored for more than two hours. This refers to any temperature between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether your pizza is in a box or on a countertop uncovered, you should not leave it out at this temperature for longer than this time frame.
You can store your pizza in the refrigerator for up to four days if the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. To store it safely in the fridge in this way it will need to be transferred into an airtight container to prevent any bacteria growth.
You will need to consume the pizza within four days or it will need to be thrown away.
If you want to keep your pizza for as long as possible, it is a good idea to freeze the pizza. To do this, transfer it into an airtight container. You can also opt to put it in a sealable freezer bag.
After you have done this, you can keep the pizza in the freezer for between one and two months. When you want to eat the pizza, you will need to thaw out the pizza before you eat it.
To thaw out frozen pizza, you will likely just put it straight in the oven from frozen. However, if you want to thaw out a pizza before heating it, you will need to check on it often.
Frozen food is usually safe to eat if it is left out of the freezer for between three and four hours. After this time, you should either eat or cook the pizza!
Why Is It Important To Store Your Pizza Correctly?
It is very important to store pizza correctly because it is a perishable product. For this reason, you should be careful to ensure that you are preventing the pizza from going bad.
Pizza that is left to sit out for a long period, or is left in the refrigerator for too long is likely to have gone bad.
The majority of people love tucking into a pizza, and you want to ensure that you retain the deliciousness of the pizza instead of eating pizza that has started to go bad!
How Can You Reheat Leftover Pizza?
Lots of people prefer to reheat their leftover pizza before they enjoy the leftovers. You can reheat your pizza in a few different ways. Let’s take a look at the best way to enjoy your leftover pizza!
Reheating Your Pizza In The Microwave
Most people throw the pizza in the microwave to reheat it. While this does work in heating the pizza, there are much better ways to go about this.
Microwaved pizza makes the pizza very different from the original form, meaning that it will not be as enjoyable as if you heat it in different ways.
Reheating Your Pizza In The Oven
It is very easy to reheat leftover pizza in the oven and it will come out super delicious! To do this, simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the slices on some foil on the middle rack in your oven.
Leave the pizza in the oven until they are warmed through and the cheese is melted.
Reheating Your Pizza In The Air Fryer
If you have an air fryer, then heating the pizza in this is a great idea! You will simply need to place the pizza in the basket and air fry it until it is warmed through. A temperature of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit will work best.
Usually, this will take around 5 to 10 minutes to heat through.
Reheating Your Pizza In The Toaster Oven
You can also use your toaster oven to reheat your leftover pizza. To do this, place your pizza slices in a pan and put them into the toaster oven for around 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, remove the pizza and serve!
So, there you have it! If you’re wondering how long pizza can sit out, you should now have your answer.
In this ultimate guide to leftover pizza, you will now be a complete expert on how long pizza can sit out, how to best store it, and the best ways to reheat leftover pizza.
In short, pizza should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. If you’re a pizza lover, you’ve probably been wondering what the answer to this question is for a long time. Now you have your answers!
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no difference between delivery pizza and pizza that you have cooked at home when it comes to leaving it out of the refrigerator. You shouldn’t leave pizza out at room temperature for any longer than 2 hours.
No. If you leave pizza out overnight then it will not be edible the next day. It should be thrown out as it is not safe to eat. Overnight, bacteria will have grown on the pizza, putting you at risk of food poisoning.
Pizza can be left in the refrigerator for up to four days. This is only the case if you store the pizza correctly in an airtight container. Any longer than this and the pizza should be thrown out.
No. You should not eat pizza that has been left out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours. This is because at this stage the bacteria may begin to grow which puts you at risk of developing food poisoning.
Yes. You can store your pizza in the fridge for up to 4 days and it will be safe to eat. This will need to be stored in an airtight container.
If you are making your pizza dough, you should not leave it out for longer than four hours. This will vary depending on the ingredients in the dough. Some can be left out for as long as 18 hours and remain fresh.