How Long Can Pizza Sit Out? Know Its Worth Before Throwing Away!


Pizza is the soul of every party. Especially for me, since I love pizza. I only accept invitations to parties that I know will be serving pizza. Likewise, when I host parties, I make sure there is enough of it going around for everyone. Sometimes though, the guests don’t turn up, or maybe there is just too much pizza left. I have often wondered how long can pizza sit out before it goes bad in those situations. If you have wondered about the same, this article should help you clear your doubts. 

Pizza is a perishable food, just like any other. It has cheese and flour, and if you like meat, that too. Like every perishable food, pizza also goes bad after a few hours if left to sit at room temperature. According to the United States Food and Drug Authority (FDA), food without preservatives is good to eat for up to 2 hours. That time increases for foods that have preservatives added to them. 

So if you have left your pizza lying around for more than two hours in a hot climate, it’s better to discard it. If you live in a temperate climate, FDA says 4 hours is the limit before pizza, and another kind of unpreserved food goes bad for you.

Also, Read | How Do I Find Recyclable Containers for My Food Business? Let Me Conserve Planet!

How Long Can Pizza Sit Out Before It Becomes A Health Hazard?

How Long Can Pizza Sit Out Before It Becomes A Health Hazard?

I wish pizza was non-perishable so I could buy loads of it once and then forget about it. Unfortunately, we can’t do that. Not yet, at least! If pizza is left to sit out for long in most scenarios, it will develop a fungal mold. 

E Coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus are common bacteria present in the air and our foods. Their presence is so minuscule that they do not affect our bodies in normal situations. Our immune system also plays its part and fights off the tiny percentage of bacteria. If the food is left to sit for longer periods, these bacteria multiply rapidly and become a health hazard. This is why people get food poisoning if they eat stale food.

If you have the pizza indoors, the room temperature is relatively moderate. In that scenario, the pizza will last a good couple of hours before it goes bad. If pizza is left to sit outside in the summer heat, just throw the pizza. Even if it doesn’t smell stale, eating a pizza left in the outdoors is never a good idea.

Storing Your Pizza For The Short Term!

Storing Your Pizza For The Short Term!

Not all is bad news. If you have some leftover pizza, you can easily store it and have it for breakfast the next morning. Trust me. There’s nothing better than reheating a leftover pizza. 

You can easily store the pizza by either keeping the pizza in the box it came in or putting it in an air-tight container. Then put it in the freezer of your fridge. I would suggest using the plastic container to store the moisture and lock it in. The pizza might become dry in the box when kept overnight.

Pizza is good to keep for a day or two days at max. After that, it’s best to discard the pizza in the compost bin. The cheese would become hard, and the bacteria growth will have risen substantially. Order yourself a new one and save yourself the discomfort that falling sick would give you.

Also, Read | How To Ship Frozen Food: Best Tips to Follow 

Use A Deep Freezer To Store Your Pizza!

Use A Deep Freezer To Store Your Pizza!

If you have a commercial small-scale deep freezer in your house, then you can store your pizza for much longer. Remember, commercial deep freezers are different from your normal freezers in refrigerators. Do not confuse the two.

The deep freezers for use at home will be much smaller in size than the ones you are used to seeing in supermarkets. They have the same cooling effects, though. You can store your store-bought pizza for up to 6 months since they come with added preservatives. If you have a pizza from Dominoes, even that will be good to eat for a month. 

What Will Happen If You Eat Expired Pizza?

What Will Happen If You Eat Expired Pizza?

A lot can go wrong if you eat expired pizza. Simply put, if you eat pizza that has been left to sit out, you will fall sick. Ideally, eating an expired pizza will not kill you, but that depends on how long it has been expired. If you eat a moldy pizza (why would you do that?), a trip to the hospital is guaranteed. With that comes a lot of bills, so try to avoid that.

Food poisoning is also very complex. While food poisoning in itself isn’t always fatal, if left untreated, you can die of the symptoms. You might get diarrhea or vomiting, which will lead to dehydration. If that isn’t looked into, then dehydration can prove life-threatening. Some mild symptoms of food poisoning that can be managed at home are cramps and nausea. If any symptoms persist for more than a day, you should get immediate medical attention.

Also, Read | 5 Best White Wines for Cooking | Adding Flavor to the Food

Final Words

It’s always good to consume the pizza fresh out of the oven. If, for some reason, you have to keep it for later, always take care of the 2-hour rule or just store it in your freezer. Maybe you haven’t thought about how long can pizza sit out before it goes bad. Maybe you thought pizza could be eaten even several hours later. Now that you know that’s not the case don’t wait for an accident to happen and stay vigilant of your food!

Abdul Mukeet
Abdul Mukeet
Two things define Abdul Mukeet. His love for literature and his love for food. He likes to indulge in the best versions of both of them. When he is not writing for Viebly, you can find him cooped up in a corner with a good book in his hand and a cat in his lap. Oh, yeah, he loves cats too. His interests lie in psychology and knowing what makes humans click. That is what he wants his writings to look be like too. Something that readers can click with. One day he will be an established author, till then, you can find him on Twitter tweeting lame puns and making unfunny jokes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here