How Long Can Pizza Sit Out?


How Long Can Pizza Sit Out?

Many of us around the world enjoy a good pizza. Knowing how long your pizza can sit out is an important part of enjoying delicious pizza. Learn all about how long a pizza can sit out, as well as the best ways to store your pizza, and much more! 

Smoked Pizza close up

How Long Can Pizza Stay Out Of The Fridge? 2 hours

Leaving Your Pizza Out Overnight Is Not OK

Perhaps you have wondered can you leave pizza out overnight. Today we are going to look at all your questions in regard to pizza and leaving it to sit out. Together we will discover the answers, and help you learn more about good practices for storing your pizza. 

You may have heard that it’s OK to leave your pizza to sit out overnight and still be able to eat it the next day. This is not true! Below we will go over the best way to store your pizza and some of the risks associated with leaving your pizza sitting out.

Fact Or Bluff: Is Overnight Pizza Still Good?

There is a rumor going around that it is okay to eat pizza that has sat out overnight. This is not true. Pizza that has been sitting out overnight, no matter if it is left in the box, or on your countertop, is not good for consumption. In fact, pizza left out overnight can make you sick. 

Is Pizza Safe to Leave Out?

Pizza that is left out overnight is not safe to eat. Sadly, if you accidentally leave pizza out overnight it will have grown bacteria which could cause you to become sick if you eat the pizza.

Pizza is made up of many different perishable ingredients, which means pizza must be refrigerated if you want to save it for later. Pizza that has been left at room temperature for an extended period of time cannot be safely eaten. Can pizza be left out overnight? Nope, it cannot be left overnight!

How Long Can A Pizza Sit Out: The Definitive Guide!

Now that we have clarified that pizza is not safe to be left out overnight, let’s turn our attention to how long pizza can sit out and still be good. We will then look at additional details on how to properly store your pizza, and what temperature it should be kept out to be safe to eat. 

How Long Can Pizza Sit at Room Temperature?

Because pizza is made from many different perishable ingredients, it can grow bacteria if it is left at room temperature for an extended amount of time. The USDA recommends allowing pizza to sit at room temperature for no more than two hours. If your room temperature is over 90°F, then the time your pizza is okay to set out traps from two hours to one hour or less, because of the increased rate bacteria can grow. 

How Long Can Ordered Pizza Sit Out?

There is no difference between ordered pizza and homemade pizza on how long each lasts. Any kind of pizza can only last up to two hours when left at room temperature.

In some cases, if your room temperature is over 90°F, your pizza may only last one hour or less. Because of the increase in temperature, bacteria will grow at a higher rate and cause your pizza to go bad faster. How long can you leave pizza out? You can leave pizza out for no more than two hours. 

Golden Rule For Pizza: What Is The Ideal Temperature For Pizza? 

The golden rule for pizza is knowing the ideal temperature to keep pizza at. A good rule of thumb for storing pizza is to use the two-hour rule. The two-hour rule applies to keeping pizza at room temperature. However, the ideal temperature to make pizza last longer is to store it in your refrigerator at 40°F or below. 

How long does pizza last

Understanding the Two-Hour Rule

Understanding the two-hour rule is important when it comes to perishable food items. Pizza falls under the perishable food item category. Pizza can sit at room temperature for two hours if your temperature is above 40°F but below 90°F. The amount of time pizza is good, if kept in a location where your temperature is 90°F or above, decreases to one hour or less, because the rate bacteria can grow at room temperature increases. 

Because of the two-hour rule, pizza left out for 4 hours, pizza left out for 6 hours, overnight, or pizza left out for 2 days, does not fall into this category. Any pizza that is left out for more than two hours, runs the risk of growing bacteria and going bad. Therefore, any pizza that breaches the two-hour rule should not be eaten. 

How To Keep Pizza Within The Safe Zone

Two-Hour Rule. The best way to keep pizza within the safe zone is to observe the two-hour rule. Meaning, that you do not leave your pizza at room temperature for more than two hours.  

Refrigerate. Another great way to keep your pizza within the safe zone is to refrigerate your pizza if it is not being eaten. Also, as soon as you are finished eating the pizza, you will want to refrigerate any leftovers, to prevent them from going bad. 

What Happens If You Eat Bad Pizza?

Suppose you left your pizza out overnight or left it sitting on your counter for an extended amount of time. What happens if you eat pizza that has gone bad? When you eat pizza that has been left out for too long, you run the risk of getting food poisoning by eating the bad pizza.

Food poisoning can come in many different forms, ranging from making you sick, to very seriously sick. Some forms of food poisoning are bacterial food poisoning in the forms of, bacillus cereus, listeria, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus. 

Bacterial Food Poisoning

Bacillus Cereus. Comes from eating infected food. Symptoms usually appear within six hours of being infected. Symptoms include flu-like symptoms from food poisoning.

Listeria. Listeria can also develop on your pizza at a relatively low rate in comparison to other bacteria. If you eat pizza infected with listeria, it can also make you have flu-like symptoms.

Salmonella. Salmonella is not typically a bacteria that grows on your pizza, your pizza can encounter it. Typically, salmonella poisoning comes from not washing your hands, then touching food. 

Staphylococcus Aureus. This is a bacteria that can get into your pizza if left out. Typically, this comes from not washing hands or airborne sicknesses. 

To sum it all up, if you leave pizza out for an extended amount of time, it runs the risk of obtaining germs that you do not want to encounter. These germs can make you very sick if you eat pizza that has sat out.

Learn how you can avoid eating contaminated pizza below. 

Is Food Poisoning Contagious? How To Protect Others

Wash And Sanitize. Although there are many cases of food poisoning and they’re not contagious, there are a few strands of bacteria you can get by eating food that has gone bad, which is contagious.

To prevent spreading foodborne diseases, simply be sure to wash and sanitize your hands and surfaces. 

When To Go To The Doctor For Food Poisoning

There are some cases of food poisoning which can become very serious. If you were to contract food poisoning, you would want to monitor your temperature and make sure you do not become dehydrated. If either of these occurs, you will want to seek medical help right away.

1. High Temperature

2. Dehydration

How long does pizza last in a box cover

Reheating Pizza To Kill Germs

You may have heard that you can reheat a pizza that has been left out to kill any germs it may contain. Although this may help in a few instances, it will not kill all of the germs that may have grown on your pizza.

Will Reheating Pizza Kill Bacteria?

Reheating pizza is not a good method to use to kill bacteria. The best way to avoid getting food poisoning is to throw out any pizza that may contain unwanted bacteria. 

What Pizza Toppings Grow Bacteria The Quickest?

All kinds of pizza are likely to grow bacteria, especially any with sweet toppings, ingredients, or glutenous crusts. Pineapple and tomato especially attract bacteria. Cheese is also highly attractive for mold to grow, making all kinds of pizza likely to quickly grow bacteria. 

Pizza and Toppings

Identifying Bad Pizza

You might ask if there is a good way you can identify bad pizza. Unfortunately, you cannot see bacteria when it settles into your pizza. This is why it is important to know if your pizza has sat out for two hours or more.

By monitoring the amount of time your pizza has been exposed to the growth of bacteria, you can know if your pizza is safe to eat or not. 

Tips To Keep Your Pizza Safe While Leaving It Out

When your pizza is at room temperature, there are a few easy tips you can follow to help keep your pizza safe. Below are four simple tips to help you enjoy your pizza while it is safe to eat. 

Keep Warm. If possible, keep your pizza warm. This will help it to last and make it more enjoyable to those eating it. 

Close The Box. A simple way to keep your pizza for two hours at room temperature is to simply close the box. This will help keep some of the heat inside of the box. 

Wrap Pizza In Aluminum Foil. If you desire, you can wrap your pizza in aluminum foil so that the heat stays in the pizza longer. 

Set A Timer. Finally, when you serve your pizza, set a timer for two hours, then place your pizza into the refrigerator. This will help you to be sure that your pizza does not go bad when it sits out. 

Storage Tips for Pizza

Knowing the best way to store your pizza will help prevent your pizza from going bad. Below are some helpful tips and tricks for the best method to store your pizza. 

How Long Should You Keep Leftover Pizza?

Three main ways you can keep your pizza. These include at room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. Knowing how long you should keep the leftover pizza in each of these is important. How you store your pizza makes a difference in how long you should keep leftover pizza stored each way. 

Keeping Your Pizza: What Is The Best Way To Store Pizza? 

Room Temperature. No matter if your pizza is kept on your countertop, or stacked in its box, if they are kept at room temperature, they should be stored for no more than two hours between 40°F (4.4°C) and 90°F (32.2°C). 

Refrigerate Pizza. Pizza may also be stored in the fridge for a longer amount of time. To store in the fridge you will want to transfer your pizza to an airtight container, and store it for up to four days in your fridge at 40°F. (4.4°C) or below. 

Freezing Pizza. To keep your pizza for a longer amount of time, it may be frozen. To freeze pizza, you will want to transfer it to an airtight container, or a sealable freezer bag. Then freeze for one to two months

How Long Does Cooked Pizza Last in the Fridge?

Cooked pizza may also be stored in the fridge if desired. Leftover cooked pizza should be transferred to an airtight container and placed in the fridge. For best results, you will want to enjoy your refrigerated pizza before four days has passed. 

How Long Does Pizza Last in the Box?

For the best pizza, you will want to keep it in the box while you are enjoying eating it fresh. Your pizza may be kept in the box at room temperature for no more than two hours. Your pizza should then be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated. 

Smoked Pizza cut

Remember, Pizza Is Perishable!

Pizza is a perishable food and should be treated with care. If you are amongst the majority of people who enjoys eating pizza, it is important to keep in mind the pizza can go bad. Pizza that is left sitting out, for more than two hours has likely gone bad.

When you are enjoying your delicious cheesy goodness that is pizza, it is important to make sure it stays edible, and if it has gone bad, it is important to throw it out. 

Best Way to Reheat a Leftover Pizza

Some people enjoy reheating their leftover pizza before they enjoy the leftovers. There are two main ways you can reheat leftover pizza. That is to microwave it, or to warm it in your oven.

Although most people simply toss leftover pizza into the microwave to reheat it, there is a better way to go about it. Unfortunately, microwaved pizza completely changes the original form of your pizza making it not as good. Below are some better ways to reheat leftover pizza.  


You can easily reheat any leftover pizza in your oven. To do this follow the simple steps below. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place slices on lightly greased aluminum foil and set them on the rack. 

Heat your pizza until they are warmed, and your cheese becomes melty. 

Air Fryer

You can also use your air fryer to reheat your leftover pizza if desired. To do this you will simply:

Place your pizza slices into your air fryer basket.

Air fry at 350°F until warmed. This typically takes between 5-10 minutes depending on your air fryer. 

Serve and enjoy your reheated leftovers!

Toaster Oven

Another way you can reheat your leftover pizza is to use your toaster oven. To do this it is going to be very similar to the oven and air fryer methods. 

Place your pizza slices onto a toaster oven-safe pan.

Put them into your toaster oven and cook at 350°F for 5-10 minutes, or until they are warmed through. 

Remove and serve while warm! 

Pepproni Pizza

Related Questions

Can I Eat The Pizza I Left On My Counter All Night?

No! You should not consider eating pizza that you left on your counter all night. This pizza should be considered unsafe to eat and should be thrown out. 

How long can delivery pizza sit out unrefrigerated?

Delivery pizza, such as Dominos is the same as any other kind of pizza. Delivery pizza left out overnight in a box should not sit out unrefrigerated any longer than two hours at room temperature. 

How Long Does Pizza Last in the Fridge?

Pizza may last up to four days if stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. 

Can You Eat Pizza That’s Been Left Out All Night?

No, pizza that has been left out all night should not be eaten, as it is highly likely to cause food posing. 

Can you eat pizza left out for 5 hours?

No, pizza left out for 5 hours should not be eaten. 

Can you leave pizza out for 4 hours?

No, pizza left out for 4 hours, should not be eaten. 

Pizza left out for 6 hours?

Pizza left out for 6 hours should definitely not be eaten as it could make you very sick. 

Can I keep pizza in fridge overnight?

Yes, pizza may be stored in the fridge overnight. For best results, store your leftover pizza in an airtight container in the fridge. 

How long can pizza dough be left out?

How long can pizza dough sit out may vary depending on your specific pizza dough, but typically it can be left out for four hours and still be good. Some kinds of pizza dough may still be used after it has been left out for eighteen hours, although it may be flat, and the yeast may have over-proofed.

How long does pizza last in a box

Can you eat 2 day old pizza not refrigerated?

No! Two day old pizza that has not been refrigerated should not be eaten as it will likely make you sick. 

Can you eat pizza straight from the fridge?

Yes, you can eat pizza that is straight from your fridge. Often times people enjoy eating cold pizza as their breakfast on the go. 

Why Is Pizza Often Considered An Unhealthy Food? 

Pizza is often considered to be an unhealthy food due to the often high calorie and fat content. However, there are always exceptions to this. 

How Long Can Cheese Pizza Sit Out?

Cheese pizza can sit out for two hours at room temperature before going bad. 

How Long Can Pepperoni Pizza Sit Out?

Pepperoni pizza can sit out for two hours at room temperature before going bad. 

How Long It’s Safe To Eat Leftover Pizza

Room Temp: Leftover pizza at room temperature should be eaten in two hours or less. 

Fridge: Leftover pizza stored in the fridge is good to eat for up to four days. 

Freezer: Frozen leftover pizza may be eaten within one to two months of storage in the freezer. 

How long does pizza last little ceasers

If your pizza has been sitting at room temperature…

If your pizza has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours it is time to throw it out. Your pizza is safe to sit at room temperature for two hours or less as long as your room temperature is between 40°F and 90°F. After that, it’s time to throw out any leftover pizza that has sat at room temperature for more than two hours. 

If your pizza has been sitting in the fridge…

How long is pizza good for in the fridge? If your pizza has been sitting in the fridge it is typically good for up to four days. Your leftover pizza should be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed before four days have passed for it to be good. Pizza stored in the fridge for longer than four days should be thrown away. 

How Long Can a Pizza Be Left Out?

In short, pizza can sit out for no more than two hours at room temperature. Pizza that has sat out for any longer than two hours runs the risk of having grown bacteria and has a high potential of giving you food poisoning. For best results, keep your pizza at room temperature for no more than two hours, before storing it in the fridge. 


​How long can pizza sit out in car?

any pizza leftovers that have been kept in the car are likely no longer safe to eat. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), food should be kept at room temperature, between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than two hours before it goes bad. Given this information, the short answer is that pizza can be left out in the car for no more than 2 hours between 40F-90F or 1 hour or less if your temperature is 90F or above.

Most likely, pizza that has sat out in the car will be there for longer than 2 hours. If it is exposed to higher temperatures for too long, eating the pizza will put you at risk of foodborne illnesses. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to throw it away rather than risk eating the harmful bacteria.

How long can pizza sit out in the fridge?

Perishable foods, such as pizza are best stored properly in the fridge. This means that you will want to transfer the pizza to an air-tight container before you store it away. This is because food that is exposed to air is still at risk of bacterial growth.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to air on the side of caution, by wrapping the pizza in plastic wrap or placing it in an airtight container before storing it in the fridge. That way it will last up to three to four days in the fridge. 

Is pizza still good if left out for 4 hours?

No, pizza that is left out for 4 hours, has been in the danger zone for far too long. The danger zone is when any perishable food is between 40°F and 140°F. Foods like pizza should sit out for no more than 2 hours before they go bad.  

Is it OK to eat pizza left out overnight?

Perhaps you are wondering if you can eat that leftover pizza that you forgot to take care of and discover it still sitting there the next morning. Unfortunately, the answer is no, you should not eat pizza that was left out overnight.

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends, food that has been set out for a long time has been exposed to danger zone temperatures for far too long. It has likely grown dangerous bacteria that can be hazardous to your health. Pizza left out overnight should be thrown away rather than eaten.

What is the best way to store leftover pizza?

The best way to store your leftover slices of pizza is to place it in the fridge. But before you do, make sure to remove it from the pizza box and wrap it securely in plastic wrap, a sealable plastic bag, or an airtight container. In a pinch, even some wax paper secured tightly can work.

The cardboard box that the pizza comes in is not the best way to store your leftover slice of pizza. For proper storage, so that your food stays the best, and the longest, using an airtight container will give you the best results.

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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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