Can you eat pizza left out for 5 hours?

Are you guilty of ending up with leftover slices after ordering a family-size pizza for yourself? Well, you can refrigerate those slices and reheat them later. However, if you have pizza left out for 5 hours and are now skeptical if it’s safe to eat it, we are here to clear out your confusion.

Can you eat pizza left out for 5 hours?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, any cooked food or takeaway shouldn’t be left out for more than 2 hours. However, as per USDA, a temperature of 41-135 degrees Fahrenheit or 5-57 degrees Celcius is referred to as the danger zone, and food items kept outside this temperature zone should be avoided. The department has also stated that cooked food items kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days are good to be consumed when stored correctly, and this implies that a pizza left out for 5 hours can be consumed if stored in a refrigerator.

What will happen if you eat a pizza that’s been left out for 5 hours?

When left unrefrigerated, food becomes a breeding spot for bacteria, fungi, parasites, and chemicals. Consuming such contaminated food can lead to serious infections and foodborne sicknesses like food poisoning, dysentery, and indigestion. Therefore, it is also advised to avoid food items that have been sitting out for hours.

How to correctly store pizza in a refrigerator?

1. Airtight container

One of the best ways of preserving pizza in the fridge is in an airtight container. Lining the container with paper tissues or parchment paper will ensure that the toppings remain fresh for a little longer. Before storing the pizza slices in the container, remember to cool off the slices so that the moisture from evaporation does not make your pizza soggy.

2. Plastic wrap

You may use plastic wrap to store your pizza in the fridge to keep it fresh for an extended period. Make sure to make the plastic wrap airtight to prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus, and toxins.

3. Resealable bag

Once your pizza slices have cooled down, you can place the individual slices into a resealable bag, which can fu stored in a refrigerator. As you have allowed the pizza slices to cool down, the cheese and the sauces get a little hardened, making it easy for slices to be stacked on one another. These resealable bags work the same as airtight containers and do not let bacteria and other chemicals grow in.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you eat pizza left out for 6 hours?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, perishable food items, including pizza, should be consumed within 2 hours. After these couple of hours, cooked food gets contaminated by chemicals, bacteria, and parasites. Therefore, eating pizza left out for 6 hours is not advised.

2. Is pizza still good after 5 hours?

Pizza is good after 5 hours as long as it is correctly refrigerated. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooked food items are safe to be consumed for up to 4 days if stored correctly in the refrigerator.

3. Is it possible to get food poisoning from pizza?

Consuming a pizza kept outside for more than 2 hours without a refrigerator can cause food poisoning.

4. How do I know I’ve got food poisoning?

If you suffer from food poisoning, you will start experiencing symptoms like high fever, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.


We hope this article helped our pizza-loving readers understand the importance of consuming refrigerated food. Refrigerating food correctly can keep it fresh for a little longer and makes it consumable. Stay tuned for more such food-related content!

If you’re wondering about eating pizza left out for 5 hours, you might also be curious about the safety of eating 5-day-old refrigerated pizza.

Shaleen Ashish
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