How Long Can Pizza Sit Out Without Goes Bad

How long can pizza sit out? This is a legitimate question that many people have asked. In this post, I will tell you how long a pizza can sit out, and the reason you may want to do so!

How Long Can You Leave Pizza Out?

Pizza is a wonderful thing — except when it’s not. Like when you can’t help but wonder if it’s safe to eat after sitting out overnight. Or how soon after eating that slice should you toss the rest? It can be hard to tell. Bacteria and mold are invisible, so you can’t look at the pizza and know whether it’s safe to eat or not. However, there are some precautions you can take to lower your chances of getting sick from eating pizza.

The Two-Hour Rule

Most bacteria grow quickly at room temperature, doubling every 20 minutes. In just two hours, a bacterium population can grow from one to more than 1 million cells. The bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply even faster. Bacterial spores in food grow into active cells when conditions are right for them to do so. Bacteria in food can produce dangerous toxins that are not destroyed by cooking.

The Two-Hour Rule

If food is left out at room temperature, dangerous levels of bacteria can multiply quickly. The time it takes for bacteria to contaminate your leftovers depends on their type and the temperature at which they have been kept. In general, foods should not be kept at temperatures above 90 F (32C). When it’s cooler, you can push this timeframe a bit longer. Even so, it’s best to be cautious with food safety and not keep your pizza out for longer than two hours.

Types Of Pizza You Should Never Sit Out

Let’s start with one thing: you should never leave any type of pizza to sit out overnight. Whether it’s delivery, frozen or homemade, all pizzas should be refrigerated if they’re not being eaten right away. But what kind of pizza is best left unrefrigerated? Three kinds: fresh mozzarella, designer pies with lots of toppings and cheese, and homemade varieties. These are the pizzas that are going to taste just as good after two or three hours at room temperature as they are straight out of the oven (and pizza box).

How To Keep Pizza Safe

It’s not safe to keep pizza sitting out for longer than 2 hours — after 2 hours, the risk of food poisoning increases. Pizza should either be consumed or stored in a refrigerator. According to the FDA, refrigerated foods, including pizza, are safe to eat for three to four days if they are stored at 40°F or below. The FDA recommends using a food thermometer to ensure that foods are kept at the proper temperature.

using a food thermometer

To keep pizza warm for serving, place it on a heat-safe plate or wire rack and set it over a pan filled with boiling water. Cover with aluminum foil and set the oven to 300 F or in “keep-warm” mode if available. A hot oven will keep a soft crust from drying out, and prevent it from burning. If the temperature is over 90 F, reduce the cooking time to 1 hour. So in terms of safety, you should only keep pizza warm for up to two hours before tossing it in the trash.

keep pizza warm in hot oven

How To Store Pizza To Make It Last Longer   

If you want to keep your pizza hot and fresh, the best way is to transfer it to an oven-safe plate or a wire rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pizza on a plate or rack and allow it to heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you do not have an oven available, you can use a microwave instead. Simply place the pizza on a microwavable plate and warm it in 30-second intervals until it reaches your desired temperature. However, this method may make your pizza soggy and chewy in texture.

For leftover pizza, it is best to store it in the refrigerator within two hours after being cooked. By keeping your refrigerator set below 40˚F, you can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause foodborne illnesses. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and saved for up to two days. When storing leftover pizza, you need to consider how long each topping will last. For instance, meats such as sausage and pepperoni will last around three days when stored correctly in a fridge. Cheese is also good for three days, but vegetables like olives are only good for one day before they spoil or lose their flavor.

The Perfect Temperature For Pizza

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when storing pizza is leaving it out at room temperature for too long. At room temperature, bacteria can grow quickly on leftover pizza that has been sitting out for more than two hours. The longer you leave it out, the higher the chance of illness and food poisoning.

“If you are going to eat leftover pizza, it is safest to reheat it in a conventional oven,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Room temperature is considered to be between 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) and 140 F (60 C), according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After two hours at room temperature, the pizza should be thrown away. Pizza should also not be refrigerated before it has been thoroughly cooked, according to the FDA’s food code guidelines for preventing foodborne illness, which was updated in 2017. The FDA recommends that perishable foods like pizza with cheese or other toppings stay in a refrigerator at 40 F (4.4 C) or below for no more than four days and never be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours.


How Long Does Pizza Last In The Fridge And Freezer?

Pizza can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated after being completely cooled. Once the pizza is refrigerated, it will keep for one to two days.

Homemade pizza can last for a couple of months in the freezer, but the quality will go downhill after a few weeks. If you want your pizza to stay tasty, stick with the one-month rule. You can freeze slices or entire pies.

Is Pizza Safe To Eat After Being Left Out All Night?

Unfortunately, leaving pizza out overnight or for an extended period isn’t recommended. But the good news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean the pizza isn’t safe to eat anymore. Bacteria grow most rapidly between 40°F and 140°F. If pizza is left out for 2 hours at room temperature, it should be discarded.

Is Eating Pizza Left Out For 3 Hours Safe?

If you have ever wondered about the safety of eating pizza sit out for several hours, you are not alone. It is not safe to eat pizza that has been sitting out for more than two hours. This rule applies to pizzas that have been delivered, or even if you made the pizza yourself. It does not matter if the pizza was in an air-conditioned room or a hot one. When a person eats food that has been contaminated with bacteria, the bacteria can produce toxins. Bacteria grow best in warm temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and exist in the temperature danger zone which exists between all refrigerators and freezers. In order to keep your food safe, you should always keep it outside of this range.

How Long Can Cheese Pizza Be Left Out Before It Is Inedible?

Cheese pizza should keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Once you’ve cut into your pizza, it’s best to eat it within 3 days. According to the USDA food safety guidelines, cheese pizza that is left at a temperature above 40 degrees Fahrenheit should not be eaten after two hours. If your cheese pizza has been sitting out overnight, it is best to throw it away. In order to properly store your leftovers, you’ll want to make sure they’re sealed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible.


In general, the pizza can be left out for roughly 2 hours before it is unsafe to eat. The length of time this step will take will depend on the heat in your basement and other conditions. As a general rule though, if the pizza starts to smell funky after 2 hours you should throw it out (the cardboard box with the garbage can). I hope that the “How Long Can Pizza Sit Out“- blog by Saved By The Max could help you better make the right decision.

Staff Writer At Saved By The Max

Jeremy was responsible for initial staffing and daily management of bar, kitchen, and service. Branding and all marketing activities were part of his responsibilities as well.

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