Leaving pizza out – Is it still safe to eat?

There are some foods which we can leave in the room for a longer time duration and still we would eat them without any worry. However, this is not the case with every food. Some foods are not safe to eat when left out in the room temperature due to the associated risk of food contamination or the disease due to the contamination of food. If we talk about pizza (cooked or not cooked), then it should be kept in the refrigerator if you are planning to leave it out for a longer time. However, for a shorter period of time, it is generally okay to left it outside.

Is it still safe to eat left out pizza?

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that it is not safe to eat the perishable foods which you left for overnight at the room temperature. It doesn’t matter if your pizza has meat products on it or not, leaving pizza at room temperature is not safe. This is due to the presence of cheese as the main ingredient in pizza. Cheese has the risk of its contamination with foodborne bacteria at room temperature, so due to this reason, it is advisable to refrigerate the pizza if you are planning to leave it overnight.

Leaving pizza out – For how long can you keep it without the refrigerator?

When you leave the pizza for one or two hours at room temperature, then it doesn’t imply that now it is unsafe and you cannot eat it. There is a certain time duration, after which the risks of the foodborne bacteria contamination with cheese becomes high. So, you can leave the Pizza left for up to two hours at room temperature and if the temperature is too hot above 900 F, then it should be left only for one hour before eating it.  And yes, you can eat the pizza during this period , as suggested by USDA. However, the USDA also advises cooling the pizza to at least 400 F after this short period of time to decrease the risks of growth and reproduction of foodborne bacteria.

Leaving pizza out -Suggested Time Duration

If you are planning to leave the pizza to stay in your refrigerator for three to four days, then the temperature of your refrigerator should be 40 degrees in Fahrenheit scale or below it. This temperature and time duration is according to USDA and FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). Eating a pizza which is left out for more than four days might not make you sick immediately but the risks for getting foodborne disease increases. So, don’t eat the pizza that has been left out for more than two hours in the room. Do it for preventing yourself from getting any foodborne illness or food poisoning. The US FDA also states that keeping a pizza in the refrigerator can extend the time period to one or two months. So, if you want to eat pizza safely after one or two months, then place it in the freezer and eat it without any worry.