If you’re wondering how long your leftover pizza can last in the refrigerator, you’re in the right place!
In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, you’ll learn:
- How long your pizza can stay in the fridge
- Signs it’s not safe to eat
- How to store it properly
- And much more!
How Long Does Pizza Last in the Fridge?
Pizza can last in the fridge for up to 4 days if properly stored. However, if you don’t refrigerate your pizza before it sits at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it will go bad faster.
Keep reading for tips on storing it properly and signs it’s gone bad.
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The Best Ways to Store Pizza in the Fridge
If you want your pizza to last as long as possible in the fridge, you need to store it properly.
The best way to store your pizza in the fridge is to use an airtight wrap, some aluminum foil, or a container. You should never simply toss it into the fridge in the bowl or on a plate.
If you store your pizza without a proper seal, not only will it go bad faster, but the pizza crust will absorb moisture from any veggies, meats, or sauce in the vicinity, ruining both the texture and the taste.
The best way to store your pizza in the fridge is with two easy steps:
- Stack it up: You should stack your leftover pizza slices before sealing them. Start by placing a layer of foil, parchment, or wax paper on a tray or flat plate. Then place a slice of pizza on it. Continue alternating paper and pizza until you have no slices left.
- Wrap it up: Wrap up the stacked pizza slices tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can transfer the stacked pizza slices to an airtight container. This protects your pizza from air and moisture and helps preserve it longer. Once everything is sealed properly, store it in your refrigerator.
Related >> The Ultimate Guide To Smoking Pizza
How to Reheat Refrigerated Pizza?
When you’re ready to eat your leftover pizza, follow these quick steps:
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Step 2: Sprinkle a little bit of water on the crust (so it doesn’t dry out)
- Step 3: Place your pizza slices on a layer of aluminum foil, with enough extra foil on the sides to use as handles
- Put the pizza and aluminum foil directly on the rack of your oven and let it bake for 10 minutes.
Your pizza should come out crispy, with evenly melted cheese — just like new!
Read More >> How to Smoke Cheese
How Long Does Pizza Last in the Freezer?
Freezing cooked food will preserve its freshness for a very long time; in fact, frozen pizza can last for about 2-6 months in the freezer.
Freezing it properly can even keep the crust crunchy if you’re careful.
If you’re looking to freeze your pizza, follow the instructions above for storing pizza in the fridge.
Always remember to either store your pizza in an airtight container or wrap your pizza in an airtight plastic or aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer.
Keeping it airtight is especially critical when freezing your leftovers; if you’d like to be extra careful, you can wrap the pizza in plastic with a layer of foil on top to hold everything in place and protect the plastic seal.
How to Reheat Frozen Pizza
When you’re ready to reheat your frozen pizza, follow these steps:
- Preheat to 425°F
- Place your pizza slices on a layer of aluminum foil with enough excess to use as handles (hooray for no dishes!)
- Once the oven is preheated, place the pizza slices and the foil on the rack in your oven. Allow it to cook for 15 – 20 minutes
If all goes right, the crust will be as crispy as the day it was baked, and your toppings should still have the right texture, as well. Enjoy!
Signs That Your Pizza Has Gone Bad
If you’re concerned that your pizza may have gone bad, there are some signs you can look for to confirm your suspicions:
- The crust is dried-out and hard. If the crust is hard and dried out, it means the pizza is going stale already. Some people say you can still eat the pizza if this is the only sign you notice. However, it is always better to err on the side of caution; we would suggest that you toss it at this stage to avoid taking any risks.
- The pizza stinks. If your pizza has a rancid smell, it has definitely gone bad. Give your leftovers a good whiff before eating them; if they make your eyes water, throw the whole pizza out.
- The toppings are slimy. Do not attempt to eat pizza slices that look gooey. This “slime” is the byproduct of bacterial growth, which means that your food is well past its prime. There is a serious risk of food poisoning if you eat this.
- Mold is present. If you see mold growing on your pizza, throw it into the trash immediately and wash anything and everything it came into contact with hot water. Mold is a fungus that will certainly make you sick if you eat it, and it also spreads dangerously easily.
- The pizza tastes awful. If you don’t see any of the other signs above, you can carefully take one small bite and examine the taste. If your taste buds say that the pizza is spoiled, believe them. Bin it immediately.
Can You Get Sick From Eating Pizza Left Out Overnight?
What Happens if You Eat Old Pizza?
If you eat pizza that’s old but hasn’t gone bad, it should still be edible, but it won’t be tasty anymore.
However, if the pizza is spoiled, it’s no longer edible and will almost certainly make you sick.
In most cases of food poisoning, the onset of symptoms can be anywhere between one hour and several weeks after. The main symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain and stomach cramps
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Aching muscles
What Should You Do if You Eat Spoiled Pizza?
Most of the time, food poisoning doesn’t require any special treatments or hospital visits; people can recover at home.
However, if you realize that you ate spoiled pizza, you can take some proactive steps to lessen the impact of the incoming illness.
These steps will prevent dehydration and keep your body energized.
Once your symptoms begin, continue resting and drinking water as much as possible. Take things easy while your body recovers.
If you can’t hold down entire meals, eat light meals in small bites; medical experts recommend bland foods like rice, crackers, toast, and bananas.
When to Seek Medical Help After Eating Spoiled Pizza
You should seek medical help if:
- You experience severe and excessive symptoms, like diarrhea and vomiting, that show no signs of stopping.
- Your symptoms have not improved after two to three days.
- You experience severe symptoms of dehydration, like confusion, sunken eyes, a rapid heart rate, and little to no urination.
If you or the one who has eaten spoiled pizza are pregnant, nursing, above the age of 60, or young, you should always seek medical attention for suspected food poisoning.
You should also seek immediate medical help if you have any of the following health conditions, as you may need close monitoring and observation:
- Kidney disease
- Heart valve diseases
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS)
- A weak immunity due to HIV, cancer treatment, or medication.
Final Thoughts on Pizza Safety
We all love pizza, whether it’s fresh or reheated from the fridge. However, it’s normal to pause before eating reheated pizza to take a look and wonder whether it’s still good.
Thankfully, when stored properly, leftover pizza should remain edible for up to four days in the fridge.
However, your leftover pizza will only last that long if it didn’t spend more than two hours at room temperature before it went into the fridge.
Room temperature pizza is a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes food spoilage. However, the hot temperature of freshly baked pizza and the cold temperature of the fridge both slow down this bacterial growth, allowing it to last longer.
This is why you should refrigerate your pizza as soon as it cools. The longer you wait, the faster your pizza will go bad.
Food safety is always worth the extra steps when storing, inspecting, and reheating your food.
You can eat your leftover pizza, whether hot or cold, if you’ve followed the general guidelines for preserving the food and made any necessary checks for potential spoilage.
Remember to freeze or refrigerate your pizza within two hours after it cools, and it should remain edible for up to four days in the fridge or two to six months in the freezer.