Did that mouth-watering ad for pizzas lure you into buying a bunch of pizzas? After trying your best to finish them, you still have plenty left and wondering how to save them!
Maybe you ordered too many pizzas for the evening party. Now you have several left. You don’t have the heart to throw away those lovely pizzas.
You might be curious – do pizzas go bad?
Here is all you need to know about the best ways of storing pizzas and how long they last. You can also find out if a pizza is spoiled.
TLDR: The main reason why pizzas go bad is temperature. So they should not be in hot surroundings. If you do so, you invite harmful bacteria into it. They may cause foodborne diseases.
In short, avoid eating a pizza that has been lying out for more than 12 hours.
How To Know If A Pizza Has Gone Bad
Time plays a significant role in spoilage. If you are looking at your favorite leftover pizza and wondering whether to eat it or not, check for signs like:
- Any organic or mold growth – If the pizza does not appear to be in a proper condition, there is some strange growth on it, or its color has changed, there are chances that it is spoiled.
- Weird odor – If it emits an odd smell, it may be spoiled. But be careful while checking this aspect because sometimes pizzas can absorb the scent of the other food items kept nearby.
- Awful taste – If the reheated pizza has lost its flavor, and you feel like throwing up after taking a bite, it may be spoiled.
- Freezer burns – By chance, if you keep the pizza in the freezer without sealing the freezer bag properly, freezer burns may occur. Air may enter inside, and the pizza may lose its moisture. This sort of pizza may appear darker.
- Slimy toppings – The toppings may get spoiled and become sticky. It may be disgusting to eat them.
If you see such signs, it is time to put them in the bin.
Besides this, the pizza may look stale and dried out. It shows that your pizza is past its prime. But it is your choice – maybe you like to have a hard or dry crust!
How To Store Pizzas
According to the USDA guidelines, pizzas should be in the fridge within 2 hours of arrival. When a food item is neither cold nor hot, it is in a dangerous temperature zone. It is at this time that bacteria like Escherichia coli or Salmonella multiply rapidly. It can lead to food poisoning.
You may wonder how it is possible to put them in so soon when you have guests at home.
Here is the deal: Ask them if they want a second helping of pizza and put the rest in the fridge instead of leaving them on the kitchen counter. Later, if you need more pizzas, you can reheat them before serving.
Otherwise, you can set the oven at a Keep Warm setting and put the cardboard box containing the pizzas in it. This way, they will remain at a temperature of more than 140 degrees. The cardboard box will not get burnt, and the pizzas will be safe.
Now: If you want to refrigerate the leftover pizza and use it for the next meal, you can let it remain in the box it came in and put it directly in the fridge.
But if you are planning to eat it much later, then wrap each pizza in aluminum foil. Place it inside the box and refrigerate it. All this will prevent the air from flowing into the box and drying out the pizza. You can relish your refrigerated pizza for four days.
The best part is if you are not sure when you will be eating the pizza, you have another option. Put the wrapped pizza in a freezer bag and then store it in the freezer. Or put it in an airtight container before freezing it. Your pizza will be edible even after two months!
When you are ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge. Then reheat it. That way, you can enjoy the best quality. Another way to have delicious reheated pizza is to put it in a skillet and hover it on the flame for a minute. Then put it in the oven. Heat it at a temperature of 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes.
Dos and Don’ts to retain the quality of the pizzas:
- Cover the pizzas whether you keep them outside or in the refrigerator. If you leave it on the countertop, don’t forget to cover it, or else you’ll be attracting insects to it, and the crust may become hard.
- While stacking the pizzas in a container, place some parchment paper or paper towels in between them. Then close the lid of the airtight container to keep them fresh and retain their original taste.
- Do not keep hot pizzas in the fridge as soon as they arrive.
- Do not be tempted to put the whole cardboard box of pizzas directly into the refrigerator. Your pizzas will become soggy, and no heating method can restore them.
How Long A Pizza Lasts
According to the rule of thumb that applies to both the veg and non-veg pizzas:
- If the pizza is left outside on the counter for the night, it gets spoiled and is not edible.
- It is safe to eat it within two hours at ordinary room temperature.
- If it is refrigerated, you can eat it for four days.
- When it is in the freezer, it lasts up to two months.
The Bottom Line On Pizzas
It is risky to eat a pizza that has gone bad chiefly because of the toppings. If it has a cheese or meat topping, listeria and Salmonella can make you sick. You can suffer from fever, headache, and diarrhea. If the cheese is moldy, you may have some symptoms of allergy.