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Can You Leave Pizza Out Overnight?

Cold pizza is considered one of life’s best pleasures. It gained’t burn the roof of your mouth like piping scorching pizza — and, by way of a once-in-a-while breakfast deal with, a tasty slice of chilly pizza is tough to beat.

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In most instances, you’ll seize a slice from the fridge while you’re hungry. But what when you’ve got a late-night pizza at a lodge and don’t have a spot to retailer it? Or what in case your fridge is full? Can you allow pizza sitting out in a single day and nonetheless munch on it the following day?

Registered dietitian Fawziah Saleh, MS, RDN, LD, says that’s not a good suggestion. “Perishable foods like pizza are not safe to eat if left sitting out in room temperature overnight.”

There’s extra unhealthy information, too: It doesn’t matter in case your pizza was plain cheese, filled with veggies or a meat lover’s delight — Saleh says you nonetheless can’t go away it on the counter and have it for breakfast the following morning. “Because cheese is the main ingredient, pizzas should be kept in the refrigerator to reduce the risk of being contaminated with food-borne bacteria.”

How lengthy can pizza safely sit out?

Believe it or not, pizza can solely be unnoticed safely for 2 hours at room temperature. At larger temperatures, it’s secure to be unnoticed for only one hour.

“Anything outside of the temperature danger zone — which is between 41 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 57 degrees Celsius) — is what you want to avoid,” advises Saleh. “According to the USDA, after two hours, you want to either heat the pizza back up or put it in the refrigerator to cool it down. So, say you’re putting pizza in the microwave or heating it up in the oven … As long as you get it out of that 135-degree F (57-degree C) range, then you should be OK.”

If you’re consuming vegan cheese pizza, these similar guidelines additionally apply. Vegan cheese is taken into account a perishable meals merchandise, so it’s worthwhile to be certain it’s solely unnoticed at room temperature for 2 hours.

Dangers of consuming pizza that’s been out too lengthy

So, you’re in all probability questioning: What occurs if I eat pizza unnoticed in a single day? Well, this will increase your threat of getting meals poisoning or contracting a food-borne sickness.

Food-borne diseases will be severe and be issues like:

Signs of meals poisoning embody an upset abdomen, nausea and vomiting, or feeling abdomen ache going to the toilet. Symptoms of meals poisoning or food-borne diseases can present up inside hours after you eat contaminated meals or a number of days later.

“That’s why a lot of people go back and think, ‘What did I eat that caused me to get sick? Oh, I know — I ate at that restaurant,’” Saleh notes.

How to retailer pizza safely

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you’ll be able to retailer pizza safely within the freezer for about one to 2 months. Pizza within the fridge can be chilly sufficient to be outdoors of that temperature hazard zone, though it doesn’t keep recent fairly as lengthy. Saleh says you’ll be able to safely retailer pizza within the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

As with consuming pizza that’s been sitting out for too lengthy, grabbing a slice that’s been within the fridge for some time can be dicey. “While you might not get sick if you eat pizza that’s been in the refrigerator longer than four days, you can still increase your risk for food-borne illnesses if you decide, ‘Hey, I want to eat this pizza,’” Saleh says.

In brief, in case you’re craving a chunk of chilly pizza, simply be sure you’re grabbing it from the fridge or freezer — not your kitchen counter or the top desk in your lodge room. Your style buds, and abdomen, will thanks later.

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