Can You Eat Pizza That Was Left Out? 

Last updated on July 24th, 2022 at 07:29 pm

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Pizza is the go-to dinner when you don’t want a burger and fries but also don’t want to cook. You can order ahead of time and it can be ready for pick up on your way home. 

You can also store frozen pizza in your freezer and have a delicious dinner in about twenty minutes. 

After everyone has eaten, there may still be pieces of pizza leftover. You can either save these for lunch the next day or for dinner another evening too. If you forget to place the leftover pizza in the fridge, is it still any good? 

Are you able to eat pizza if it was left out all night? 

If your pizza was left out for two hours or more, it is not safe to eat. The rule of thumb is to follow the two-hour rule when it comes to any food that has been left out. 

According to the USDA, all perishable foods are no longer safe to eat after having sat at room temperature overnight. 

Even if your pizza doesn’t have any meat on it, it still won’t be good to eat after having been left out. 

Although many people (myself included) have eaten pizza that has been left out longer than two hours and been fine, you are leaving yourself open to bacteria and possible food poisoning so it’s best to just throw away any pizza that has been left out. 

How Can You Tell If Pizza Is Bad? 

You try to meal prep and plan ahead, but sometimes your week has other plans in store for you. You purchased pizza on Sunday expecting to eat some for lunch and dinner the next day but ended up working late. 

You decided it was better to just grab food on the way home, so your pizza ends up in the fridge longer than you expected. If the leftovers are not right in the front of your fridge, it can be easy to forget you have pizza in there at all. 

If your pizza has been in the fridge for longer than you expected, is there a way to know if your pizza is bad? What signs should you look for before reheating your leftover pizza? 

You will know that your pizza has gone bad when it starts to smell. If you open your container to reheat your leftovers and it stinks, it is best to throw them out. 

Another sure sign that your leftovers have gone bad is by checking for mold. If you have meat on the pizza, the mold will typically start to grow there first. 

One of the first signs that your pizza is starting to go bad is by testing the crust. If the crust is becoming hard and dry, your pizza is starting to go bad. It is still safe to eat when the crust is hard, but it is getting close to the “expiration” date. 

How Long Does Pizza Last In The Refrigerator? 

Life gets busy and sometimes leftovers go unnoticed in the fridge. Often, you’ll save your leftovers in hopes that you’ll eat them the next day. However, the next day, you might not be in the mood for your leftovers and decide to make something else. 

The vicious cycle of leftovers and whether or not to reheat them for dinner continues. As the week goes on, your leftovers stare back at you every time you open the fridge. 

If you have leftover pizza that needs to be eaten, how long do you have until it goes bad? 

Leftover pizza will remain safe to eat and fresh for up to four days as long as it was stored properly. Around five days is when the crust will lose moisture and begin to get hard. 

Much longer than that and mold will start to form on your pizza. 

Can You Eat Cold Pizza From The Fridge? 

Most leftovers in your fridge only taste good when they are reheated. If you have leftover chicken and potatoes, you want them warmed up. If you have leftover beef for tacos, you want the beef warmed up before you make your tacos. 

Another reason, other than taste, for warming up your food can be to kill off any bacteria that may have started growing. So what about pizza? 

Can you enjoy pizza cold or should you heat it up before eating? 

As long as you have followed the two-hour rule and your pizza hasn’t been in the fridge for longer than four days, it should be perfectly fine to enjoy your pizza cold. 

You can enjoy a piece of cold pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as long as it was kept safely in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

Can Pizza That Was Left Out Make You Sick?

This question is one of the most common questions about leftover pizza. If you happen to leave the pizza on the counter overnight, will the pizza be safe to eat or will it make you sick? 

It happens to everyone, you order pizza thinking you ordered just the right amount only to have almost half a pizza leftover. You get busy after dinner and then bedtime comes faster than anticipated. Before you know it, you stumble into the kitchen for your morning coffee to see that you still have pizza sitting on the counter. 

Is this pizza safe to eat or will it make you sick? 

Pizza that has been left out for longer than two hours will begin to grow bacteria so it is not safe to eat. If you choose to eat pizza that was left out all night, you are also choosing to eat all the bacteria that has accumulated on your food overnight. 

Though you may not see the bacteria growing, it is there. 

Everyone’s stomach acidity is different which means there is no guarantee as to whether or not eating pizza that was left out will make you sick. If you have a healthy gut, your body may be able to fight off the bad bacteria with very little effect. 

However, it is not worth finding out whether or not your stomach can fight off bad bacteria by eating pizza that sat out collecting bacteria all night. 

Final Thoughts

As tasty as pizza is, it is not worth it to eat pizza that has been left out overnight. Always follow the two-hour rule when it comes to any perishable food that has been left out. 

As long as your pizza was in the fridge before the two-hour mark and has only been in the fridge for a few days, your leftover pizza should be safe to eat. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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