I can’t even tell the number of times I’ve made finger-licking pizza and stored leftover slices in the fridge only to find out a few days later it’s gone bad.
To prevent this, I did some research on how long pizza lasts and how to prevent its spoilage.
I checked what the USDA says and talked with the chef in my favorite pizza place to get an expert’s opinion.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Pizza typically lasts 3-4 days in the fridge when properly stored.
- You should wrap leftover pizza with freezer wrap and aluminum foil or keep it in an airtight container.
- You can reheat leftover pizza in a toaster oven, microwave, air fryer, or frying pan.
How Long Does Pizza Last in the Fridge?
According to the USDA, pizza lasts in the fridge for up to four days. This rule stands if the cooked pizza hasn’t been left at room temperature for over two hours.
To make sure there’s no bacteria growth on leftover pizza slices, you have to store pizza leftovers properly .
Also, the fridge temperature must be 40 degrees or below to safely store cooked foods.
Keep to the four-day rule when storing pizza leftovers in the fridge, as anything over this increases the risk of getting a foodborne illness.
Also Read: How Long Will Sausage Last in the Fridge?
How Long Does Pizza Last in the Freezer?
Pizza lasts two to six months in the freezer when properly stored. Pizza leftovers stored in the freezer must be tightly wrapped so the air doesn’t get to the pizza.
Two months is the ideal freezing time. You can also eat pizza that’s been frozen for longer, but it won’t taste as good when reheated.
When reheating frozen pizza, you should let it thaw in the fridge and then reheat it. This method allows you to store pizza leftovers for a few days before consuming them.
But, if you’re reheating pizza frozen in the conventional oven or microwave, eat it immediately.
Never refreeze, as it won’t taste well the second time around. Your pizza crust won’t be crunchy, and the toppings won’t be safe to eat.
“Refrigerate perishable foods as soon as possible, always within 2 hours after purchase or delivery. If the food is in air temperatures above 90 °F, refrigerate within 1 hour.”
- United States Department of Agriculture
Tips for Storing Pizza in the Fridge
Here’s how to store pizza in the fridge:
- Stack the pizza - Stack leftover pizza slices by placing a foil, wax paper, or baking sheet on a tray or plate. Put a pizza slice on it, and alternate paper and pizza until there are no more leftovers.
- Wrap the pizza - Wrap leftover pizza using plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. Don’t store refrigerated pizza in a bowl or a plate, or it’ll go bad faster. Also, if you don’t wrap refrigerated pizza, the pizza crust absorbs moisture from veggies, sauces, and meats, which ruins the texture and taste.
- Store in a container - If you store leftover pizza in a container, you don’t need to wrap it. You can just stack pizza slices and ensure the container is closed to prevent air and moisture from getting in.
- Keep it cold - The fridge temperature should be 40 degrees or below.
Also, make sure to store leftover pizza immediately after cooking or eating it. If you leave it sitting at room temperature for over two hours, it can develop bacteria, and you should throw it out.
You can also store leftover pizza in the freezer. Use an airtight freezer container or a resealable bag.
Never keep the frozen pizza in the cardboard pizza box it was delivered in, or you risk bacteria growth. Plus, the air can get to the pizza slices this way and cause a freezer burn.
Also Read: How Long Will Turkey Last in the Fridge
How to Tell Leftover Pizza Has Gone Bad?
There are several ways to tell leftover pizza has gone bad, including a dry crust, slimy texture, foul smell, and mold.
- Dry crust - If the crust is hard and dried out, it means the pizza is stale. You can still eat it if this is the only sign you notice, but it’s best to throw it out if you see other spoilage signs.
- Smell - If the leftover pizza has a rancid smell, it’s gone bad. Before you reheat leftover pizza, give it a sniff. If there’s a strong odor, throw it away.
- Slimy texture - If the leftover pizza looks slimy and gooey, it means there’s bacteria growth, and the pizza is past its prime. You risk food poisoning if you eat slimy pizza.
- Mold - If there’s mold growing on the pizza, throw it out straight away. Wash anything that came into contact with moldy pizza. In case it touched other food, throw it out because mold spreads very easily and is dangerous.
- Bad taste - There may not be any visible signs that leftover pizza is spoiled. But, if it tastes awful, bin it.
Overall, you should refrigerate leftovers immediately. Never eat pizza that’s been left out overnight or pizza that has any of the above signs, or you risk getting a foodborne illness.
Can You Eat Leftover Pizza After 5 Days?
No, you can’t eat leftover pizza after 5 days. You shouldn’t eat refrigerated leftover pizza after the fourth day, even if properly stored and wrapped in aluminum foil.
Is It OK to Eat Cold Pizza from the Fridge?
Yes, it’s OK to eat cold pizza from the fridge. You don’t have to reheat the pizza, but it will taste better reheated. You’ll see the cheese melt and have a better crust.
Is It Safe to Reheat Pizza?
Yes, it’s safe to reheat pizza. You can reheat it up to four days after originally eating it. Rehat in a toaster oven, a pan, a skillet, or a microwave.