How to Determine if Your Pizza Is Stale

How to Determine if Your Pizza Is Stale

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Don’t you wish pizza could continue forever? Yet the truth is that pizza has a shelf life and will ultimately spoil. A hard and dry texture is the first indicator of a terrible pizza. It will then have an unusual or putrid odor. Mold and other germs will grow with time.

Hello there! Shea is my name, and I like pizza. In fact, I had some just yesterday and it was fantastic! I usually have some kind of leftovers in my fridge. Years of pizza-eating experience have taught me how to recognize when a pizza has gone rotten.

Nobody likes to bite into spoiled food, whether it’s a piece of toast, an apple, or a slice of pizza. Knowing how to tell whether pizza is rotten might make the difference between savoring a great fresh slice and spitting out your once-loved pizza.

Let’s talk about how to identify whether a pizza is rotten.

How to Tell if Pizza is Bad (5 Signs)

Although the prospect of eating stale pizza is revolting, the good news is that you are unlikely to have to deal with this issue. That’s because there are various indicators that the pizza has gone rotten. Let us investigate more.

1. Dry and Hard Texture

The first sign that it’s time to dump your pizza is that it’s dried out and stiffened. Although technically okay to eat at this stage, I would not advocate it for the sole reason that it will be unpleasant.

Have you ever tried eating a dried-out piece of pizza? I’ll be honest and say yes. It also seemed like tearing off a bite would remove a tooth with it. Needless to say, the piece of pizza ended up in the garbage. (I may have baked a new, fresh pizza, no judgement!).

2. “Off” Odor

Have you ever smelled a piece of aged cheese? It’s not terrific, to put it mildly. What’s more, guess what? Your pizza is dripping with cheese. Consequently, when pizza turns bad, it will have the same unpleasant odor as old cheese. It’s really that easy.

Yet, when the pizza first begins to go bad, it may not be obvious. It might just have a strange odor that you can’t quite put your finger on. Yet, during the following several days, that strange odor will transform into a very evident rotten odor.

I wouldn’t recommend eating a pizza with a faint stench. Even the slightest whiff of anything odd should cause your pizza to become old and worthless. Throw it away and go purchase or manufacture a new one!

3. Slimy Toppings

Give your pizza toppings other than cheese a close inspection. Pepperoni, salami, spinach, and mushrooms will all have a noticeable slimy look. This is not just disgusting, but it is also gross. Toss away slimy pizzas as soon as possible.

4. Mold

Mold is just mold. Whether it’s green, black, grey, white, or any unusual hue, it’s both noticeable and repellent. Clearly, if your pizza is displaying indications of mold development, you should discard it right away.

Note that even if mold is just developing on one slice of pizza, you must discard the whole pizza. Mold travels before it manifests itself. So it’s there, even if you can’t see it on the rest of the pizza.

Say goodbye to your pizza and risk gut discomfort and other possible health risks.

5. Bad Taste

If your slice of pizza passes the texture, odor, and sight tests, you may reheat it in an air fryer or microwave. If you take a bite and it just doesn’t taste right, it might be a clue that your pizza has gone bad.

How Long Does Pizza Last?

Pizza does not last indefinitely and eventually go rotten. But when is that generally the case? Pizza left on the counter, on the other hand, will barely last two hours. To keep it safe, put it in the fridge or freezer before two hours.

When keeping pizza in the refrigerator, make sure it’s in an airtight container or carefully wrapped in foil. It may then be refrigerated for up to four days.

You may also freeze your pizza if it has to survive longer than a few days. To protect the pizza from freezer burn, use airtight containers, resealable freezer bags, or aluminum foil. Pizzas may be stored in the freezer for many months. Yet, I always believe that the sooner the better.

Sadly, freezer burn is just more clue that your pizza has gone bad. Thus, if you’re putting it in the freezer and take out a slice to eat and it’s plagued with freezer burn, toss it (along with the rest of your stored slices) and start again.


You now understand how to tell whether your pizza has gone rotten. Still not satisfied and interested in learning more? I’m prepared to teach! Have a look at the commonly asked questions below.

Will I get sick if I eat old pizza?

Indeed, eating old pizza may make you ill. Although the majority of individuals may experience stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, some may have a more severe response. It is essential to follow storage standards and constantly inspect your pizza for symptoms of spoilage.

Can you eat 2-day old pizza not refrigerated?

It is very discouraged to consume unrefrigerated 2-day-old pizza. Pizza must be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and should not be left out for more than two hours. Yet, two days is much over the suggested period of time for pizza to sit out safely.

Is pizza still good after 4 days?

After four days, as long as your pizza has been properly kept in the fridge around 40F, it is fine to eat. It is crucial to remember, however, that the maximum period is four days. Toss your pizza after the fourth day. If you need to keep it for a longer period of time, place it in the freezer.

Can pizza give you food poisoning?

Pizza, unfortunately, has the potential to cause food sickness. Nonetheless, it is unlikely to originate from a credible company. Food poisoning is more likely to develop when attempting to consume old pizza that has been sitting on the countertop or in the refrigerator for an extended period of time.

How long does uncooked pizza last in the fridge?

Not yet cooked? Uncooked pizza may be stored in the fridge for up to four days, exactly like cooked pizza. If the uncooked pizza is left out for more than four days, it will rot and should be discarded.

Final Words

I hate to break it to you, pizza fans, but pizza goes bad. The first indicator of poor pizza is a hard and dry texture. From there, it will acquire a stink, slimy toppings, and maybe mold. A terrible flavor and freezer burn are other obvious indicators of a lousy pizza.

How can you tell if your pizza is bad?


What can happen if you eat bad pizza?

Dangers of eating pizza that has been sitting out for too long

As a result, you are more likely to suffer food poisoning or get a food-borne disease. Food-borne diseases may be severe and include: A staphylococcus aureus infection (MRSA bacteria). Salmonella.

How long before pizza goes bad?

In general, she recommends storing prepared items and leftovers in the fridge for no more than three or four days. They may then begin to deteriorate and contain germs. Jeremy White, the editor-in-chief of Pizza Today, agrees with Carothers. In fact, he believes four days is stretching it.

How do you know when pizza is going bad?

The first indicator of rotten pizza is a hard and dry texture that is still safe but not very flavorful. If left too long, rotten pizza may emit a sour stench and turn moldy.

Is pizza good after 5 days in fridge?

Is it OK to consume leftover pizza after 5 days? No, according to USDA guidelines, you should not consume leftover refrigerated pizza after the fourth day, even if it has been properly preserved in the refrigerator. Even if you could, the 5 day old pizza would be disgusting at this point.

Is 4 day old pizza OK to eat?

According to the USDA, if your pizza is refrigerated at a temperature less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be eaten for up to four days.

How long is pizza good for in the fridge?

According to the USDA’s food safety rules, leftover pizza may be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days if the two-hour rule is followed. Wrap your remaining pizza firmly in foil or plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container to keep it cool.

Can I eat pizza after 7 days?

According to the USDA, if your pizza is refrigerated at a temperature less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be eaten for up to four days.

Is it OK to eat pizza that sat out overnight?

If you find you’ve left the pizza out overnight, it’s better to toss it out. But, if you have any leftover slices in the fridge or freezer, you’re in luck. Reheating cold pizza is easy, only takes a few minutes, and is completely safe.

Does pizza go bad in 12 hours?

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends avoiding allowing prepared food, such as pizza or other types of takeout, to stay at room temperature for more than two hours before discarding it.

What does spoiled pizza smell like?

Smell. Sour and alcoholic aromas will emanate from spoiled pizza dough. This is due to a chemical reaction in over-proofed dough that produces acetic and lactic acid. If you detect this odor, it is recommended to discard the dough.

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