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How Long Does Leftover Pizza Stay Fresh in the Fridge?

We all want to savor that box of pizza until the end, but at what cost?

It's Monday night, and you just got home from a grueling day at work. The last thing you want to do is fire up the oven and make something from scratch. What might you do? One likely option is to order a pizza from your favorite pizza shop (or chain) in town. Let's take this scenario one step further. Say you order a medium-size pizza or even a large, and you cannot tackle the whole pie yourself, so you resort to storing the rest of your pizza pie in the fridge. Score! Who doesn't love leftover pizza for breakfast?

The question is, just how long will that supreme meat pizza last in the fridge so that it remains safe (and palatable) to eat? We got the answers for you on just how long pizza can last.

How long does leftover pizza actually last in the fridge?

No matter what the food, regardless of whether it's pasta, pork chops, or slices of pizza, the same rule applies for all—they should only be consumed a few days after it was cooked and stored properly in the fridge to prevent bacteria from sabotaging tomorrow's lunch.

In a former article about leftovers and food safety, Meredith Carothers, the technical information specialist at the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said, "All cooked foods and leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days after cooking. After that, they can start to spoil."

To really ensure that no harmful bacteria grows on the pizza as it sits in the fridge, it's critical that you tightly seal it in an airtight container or resealable bag. Keeping the leftover pizza in the cardboard box it was delivered in may increase the risk of bacteria growth, which at most will just decrease its palatability.

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"Eventually, they cause food to develop off or bad tastes and smells," says Carothers. "Most people would not choose to eat spoiled food, but if they did, they probably would not get sick. It comes down to an issue of quality versus safety. As long as foods are not displaying signs of spoilage, they would still be OK to consume."

What's the best way to reheat leftover pizza?

The best way to reheat pizza is not in the microwave, but instead, plopping it on a skillet and hovering it over the flame for roughly one minute. After that, transfer the pizza to the oven and heat for anywhere between five and eight minutes at 400 degrees. Boom: You have delicious leftover pizza that tastes just as good the second time around.

So, now you have a good idea of how long your pizza pie will last after your order it!

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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