Is it Safe to Eat Leftover Pizza?

Monday May 18, 2020

Leftover pizza is a crowd-favorite. Sometimes, a slice from the night before tastes even better in the morning. One survey even found that more than half of all Americans prefer to eat cold pizza in the morning. After asking more than 9,000 individuals what they thought of day-old pizza, the verdict was clear. It's a win/win situation. A delicious, hot dinner the night before, with an equally delicious cold slice the next day. 

At Hungry Howie's® we're lovers of all things pizza. Hot pizza, fresh pizza, leftover pizza, cold pizza. In our opinion, no matter how you eat it you can't go wrong. We've even compiled the best creative recipes that you can make with leftover pizza. We're that enthusiastic about the matter.

But is it safe to eat leftover pizza? We had to know and we're here to share our findings with you.

How Long Is It Safe to Eat Leftover Pizza?

As you know, all food goes bad with time. As much as we wish pizza could last forever, it just isn't so. What's the cut off point though? When do you really have to toss it? The answer is that it depends on how your leftover pizza is stored.

Pizza Left on the Counter

If you've left it sitting out on the counter, it will only remain safe to eat for a few short hours. So unless you're planning on going back for seconds shortly, it's advised that you wrap it up and put it in the fridge for safekeeping. 

These recommendations come straight from the USDA, according to Business Insider, which explains that when food isn't kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the number of food borne illnesses multiple greatly. It's said that for every twenty minutes you leave your food sitting out at room temperature, the chances of food borne illness forming double. 

Think about it. If you leave your pizza on the counter for just one hour, you are three times as likely to get sick from eating it than if you stored it away properly. It's recommended that you put your pie in the fridge within two hours of it being made. One thing we don't ever want at Hungry Howie's® is for our customers to get ill, which is why we feel it's important to know this.

What this means is that leaving pizza on the counter overnight and then grabbing a slice in the morning is a big no-no. While it's not definite that you'll get sick, your chances skyrocket by leaving a pie out. 

Pizza Stored in the Fridge

If you're looking to have the best leftover pizza experience, store your leftovers in the refrigerator. Just make sure that the temperature of your fridge is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature recommended by the USDA to keep food safe and out of bacteria's way. 

If pizza is stored correctly it is safe to eat for four days. But we say the sooner the better. For the best results, store your pizza in an air-tight container or Tupperware if possible. It minimizes the chance of bacteria making their home on your precious slice and is the best way to protect your health.

When It's Time to Throw Away Leftover Pizza

While the four-day rule is recommended by the USDA, with correct storage conditions, there are warning signs you must be aware of that signify it's time to throw the pizza away before that mark.

If you notice any mold growing on the cheese or on the crust, toss it. Mold can grow when the bread gets damp from condensation, for example, and provides the perfect environment for mold to grow. Additionally, if you open your container and the leftover pizza smells off it's safer to toss it rather than chance it. 

The Good News about Leftover Pizza

The good news is that at Hungry Howie's® there is never any shortage on pizza. If you forgot about that slice you have in the back of the fridge until a few days later and get a craving, just give us a call or place an order online. You can always have another pizza delivered. 

There's no need to be sad over wasted pizza, because after all, is a delicious pie that you got to enjoy ever really wasted? We don't think so. What's even better is having the opportunity to order a fresh one. Since so many of you love cold pizza in the morning, it gives you one more chance to enjoy your favorite meal. 

Place an Order at Hungry Howie's®

If you're craving the perfect pizza, give us a call or order a Hungry Howie's pie online. You can pick it up at the restaurant or have it delivered right to your door. If you order online you can use the handy HowieTrack® to watch the progress of your pie, from the moment you order until the moment it arrives.