How Long Can A Pizza Sit Out At Room Temperature And Still Be Safe?

By Jessica Kelley | Health



Did you ever wake up from a night’s party feeling hungry? You ask yourself “Is there still pizza?” Upon checking the refrigerator voila! There still is! You pop it into the oven and devour it as if it’s still newly baked

You convince yourself that pizza is probably the most convenient food, you just have to reheat it and you’re good to go! But, have you ever asked yourself "How long can pizza sit out?" I know I never wondered asked it. I'm doing this research to see whether it's okay to enjoy a reheated pizza.

How Long Can Pizza Sit Out?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that perishable food can be left out for a maximum of two hours. The two-hour rule is just a precaution, pizza left out in the open is still safe to eat, lucky are those who have strong immune system. Leave it for more than two hours and you’re done!

Why is there such a short shelf life for this yummy food? You must ask, it's because hot or cold food left at room temperature for this period of time can harbor bacteria resulting in illnesses. Since pizza contains meat and cheese it can be contaminated by dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus, Salmonella, and E. Coli.

There are however ways to extend the shelf life of pizza. The most important of them all is proper storage.

How Should I Properly Store My Leftover Pizza?


Practicing proper food-keeping techniques will help avoid foodborne diseases. To be sure of the edibility of pizza, it's better to freeze them rather than refrigerating. If your pizza is newly delivered or cooked it's okay to refrigerate it but if it's leftover from last night's movie marathon, you need to freeze them.

You can be lazy and just leave the cardboard box in the refrigerator but doing this can cause the pizza to dry out and harden. The best way to preserve leftover pizza is to tightly wrap them with aluminum foil or an air-tight container and place them in the freezer.

One important thing to note is to not just pile up the slices on top of each other because the ones in the middle might not cool properly. Storing them properly in the freezer can extend the shelf life for two more days.

How Do I Know If My Pizza Is Still Good?

It’s been two days since the party, is the pizza still safe to eat? How do I know? Like with any food, we use our senses to determine the food are still good or not.

The three most important senses to use are our sense of touch, sight, and smell. Sometimes pizza can dry out and harden but this is not enough to throw it away. Take a look at it first; check if there are molds (the white spider-web like thing that develops on food) on it. Are there molds? If there’s none, that’s good!

Now, smell it. Does the pizza release a rancid odor? If yes, unfortunately, you have to throw it away. It’s a waste but it’s for your own safety!

My Leftover Pizza Is Still Good But How Do I Enjoy It Again?

If your pizza is still good then that’s great! You can still enjoy it by reheating it at least 165 degrees! Reheating does not only bring back the original tast but it also kills the bacteria that were developed during storage.


About the Author

I am Jessica, co-founder of We work to inspire, educate and empower our readers with all the latest updates and authentic information. Our goal is to bring up the “Healthy attitude” among people in the world. On you will find high-quality health information, fitness tips, diet charts and answer to all your health queries.