Does Pizza Go Bad? How Long Does Pizza Last?

Pizza is a delicious and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your pizza is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

No matter how you store it, pizza will eventually go bad.

  • Pizza cannot be left out on the counter for longer than two hours. Any longer length of time will allow for harmful bacteria to grow.
  • If you want your pizza to last long enough to have leftovers, put it in the fridge. It will last for around four days.
  • Frozen pizza lasts the longest, being good for around two months.

There are lots of things that affect pizza’s storage life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that pizza is stored to demonstrate this.

Does Pizza Go Bad? How Long Does Pizza Last?

With the exception of frozen pizza, leftover pizza won’t last for longer than anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to keep your pizza in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Pizza Last Outside?

Pizza shouldn’t be stored outside unless you can ensure that it will remain cold all of the time. This will probably mean putting your pizza in a cold place, such as a garage in the winter.

Pizza cannot just be left sitting out on the counter or table at room temperature. It will be fine for as long as you take to eat dinner, or maybe just a little longer, but will start to go bad after about two hours.

If kept cold outside, you can expect pizza to last for around four days. Don’t allow it to come into contact with sunlight, and keep the pizza in sealed containers or bags.

How Long Does Pizza Last in the Fridge?

If you want to keep your pizza good for leftovers, it’s best to put it in the fridge. A fridge can control the temperature of your pizza much better than outdoor storage can.

If you’re planning on eating the pizza the next day, it’s perfectly fine to just keep the pizza in its original cardboard box and stick that in the fridge. Don’t store it this way any longer than a day or so.

If you wish to keep your leftover pizza for longer, then you will need to transfer the pizza into different packaging. Pizza that is kept refrigerated in non-cardboard packaging will last for around four days.

How Long Does Pizza Last in the Freezer?

Depending on how you store the pizza in the freezer, it will last for anywhere from just a couple of weeks to upwards of a couple of months.

If kept wrapped in just aluminum foil, your pizza will last in the freezer for around two weeks. Don’t just keep the pizza in the original cardboard packaging it came in; it will not last this way.

If you wrap the pizza in aluminum foil and also put it in a freezer-safe bag or container, then it will last for around two months. This is regardless of the types of toppings on the pizza, although “drier” pizzas will typically last longer.

How to Tell if Your Pizza Has Gone Bad?

Here are some ways that you can tell if your pizza has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Visuals: Probably the easiest way to tell if your pizza has gone bad is to inspect it visually. Any signs of mold or other growths on your pizza is a sure sign it has gone bad. Even if your pizza only has mold on parts of it, throw the whole thing away.

Smell: A sour pizza will likely smell off or offensive. If your pizza smells like other foods in your fridge, don’t fret; it’s pretty typical for a pizza that hasn’t been kept in a sealed container to adopt the smells of other foods stored near it.

Taste: If your pizza passes the other tests but ends up tasting off, it may have gone bad in a different way than visually or olfactorily. Stale pizza is still safe.

How to Store Pizza?

You know that you can keep your pizza outside, in the fridge, or in the freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep it sealed: This doesn’t really apply if you’re just keeping the pizza in the original box, but it definitely does if you want it to last for longer than just a day. Make sure whatever container or bag you’re using is sealed tightly, to prevent early spoilage or staleness.

Use aluminum foil: Whether you’re storing your pizza outside, in the fridge, or in the freezer, using aluminum foil can help increase its longevity by a lot. Even if you’re also using a container or bag, wrap your pizza up.

Cool it as soon as possible: It’s really unsafe to keep pizza out for a while at room temperature. We can’t stress this enough. Under no circumstances should your pizza be left out for more than two hours or one hour if it’s more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit out; this increases your risk of getting food poisoning by a lot. When you’re done, put it away immediately.

How to Freeze Pizza?

We established above that you can freeze pizza, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your pizza in perfect condition for weeks to months.

Wrap it: If you only need your frozen pizza to last for a couple of weeks, then just wrapping it in aluminum foil is sufficient. Still wrap it if you want to keep it for longer.

Put it in a freezer-safe container: If you want your pizza to last for longer than a couple of weeks in the freezer, it needs to be placed in a freezer-safe bag or container. Make sure these containers are sealed tight and free of as much air as possible.

Label it: Put the date of freezing on the container or somewhere you’ll remember it. This way, you’ll know exactly how long it’s been in there for when you take it out of the freezer ages from now.

How to Thaw Pizza?

Now that you know how to freeze your pizza, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.

Thawing out pizza is pretty simple. When you’re ready to eat your frozen pizza, just take the slices you want to have out of the freezer and let them defrost overnight in the fridge.

You can also thaw frozen pizza in the oven, but this tends to produce pizza of a lower quality than just defrosting it in the fridge overnight. Because of this, we recommend using the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pizza’s Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your pizza and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.

Are there any pizza toppings that change pizza’s storage life? Not really! The directions in this article apply to pretty much every kind of typical pizza you can find out there. If you happen to have a pizza with unusual ingredients, you can always do further research just in case. The grand majority of pizzas should be able to easily fall under the storage instructions and shelf-lives in this article.

 I forgot to put my pizza away and it’s been out for a little over two hours. Is it automatically bad? Technically, no, pizza doesn’t suddenly go bad after being left out for exactly two hours. The reason we stress not leaving it out for longer than that in the article is because the chances of the pizza developing nasty inhabitants that could make you sick goes up exponentially after the first hour or two. This doesn’t mean it will happen, but it might, and you’re best not taking the risk.

Wrap Up

Now you know all about storing pizza and pizza’s shelf life. We hope this information will help you enjoy your pizza to the fullest! Leave a comment down below sharing your tips for storing pizza, as well as whether you think pineapple belongs on pizza or not.

Leave a Reply