Does Frozen Pizza Expire or Go Bad?

by Charlie
Frozen Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza is one of the nation’s favorites, whether it’s store-bought or from leftover takeout, you may be wondering how long you can savor those extra slices for. 

Does frozen pizza expire or go bad? Frozen pizza can potentially go bad depending on a variety of factors. It is best to consume frozen pizza within 18 months of purchase for its best quality, however, it will most likely remain safe to eat after this time period.

This article will explore the most common questions about frozen pizza, including how long it lasts and how it should be stored to maximize its usage date.

How Long Does Frozen Pizza Last?

Freezing foods can extend the life of your food and keep them yummier for longer. Whilst we may sometimes think that they have mystical freezing powers, some foods do still expire in the freezer. So how long will frozen pizza actually last?

The shelf life of leftover pizza depends on a variety of different factors, including the sell-by date, preparation and storage method. 

How long it lasts depends on its original state. For example, you may have ordered from Domino’s or another favorite pizza place and taken it home to freeze, or you may have bought it from the store already frozen.

This has an effect on how long your frozen pizza will last. Typically, takeout pizza or homemade pizza can last between 4-6 months, whereas store-bought frozen pizza could potentially last between 12-18 months. 

Even after then, it is likely that it will still remain safe for consumption. One thing to note, however, is that best by dates are usually guidance for the taste and freshness of the product. If it is stored in the freezer for longer, over time, the food quality may deteriorate. 

It can be difficult to determine exactly how long your frozen pizza will last because each of the preparation methods will be different and you may not have this information at hand. 

If stored properly, you may be able to extend the usage date of your frozen pizza, you just need to look out for some signs to know when it’s really time to throw it away. 

What Can Make Frozen Pizza Go Bad?

The things that can make frozen pizza go bad is:

  • Storing your pizza incorrectly – If you do not store your pizza in an airtight container at the correct temperature, it can leave room for bacteria to grow on your pizza.

How to Know if Frozen Pizza has Gone Bad?

These are things that you should look out for to detect if your frozen pizza has gone bad:

Freezer Burn

Freezer burn shows up on your food when it has dried out. This can occur from incorrect storage or from being in the freezer for a long period of time. Ice crystals can formulate on the outside and dry spots or discoloration may appear on your pizza.

In some cases, freezer burn can also appear as dark, leathery patches.

You CAN still eat the pizza as it is safe to do so, but it may have an impact on the quality of the product, regarding taste and texture, so it’s really up to you on this one. 

Whilst you can decide to consume the pizza after signs of freezer burn, you should discard your pizza if you notice any of the following:

Odor 

If you notice a strong-smelling odor that seems a bit off, chances are that your pizza is. 

Mold

This will possibly be the easiest method to detect as it’s the most visually obvious. This usually appears as green spots.

Slimy 

Depending on your pizza’s toppings, you may be able to detect an element of spoilage on your frozen pizza through slime. 

What Happens if You Eat Frozen Pizza After It Has Spoiled?

Frozen pizzas can last up to 18 months in the freezer and potentially thereafter.

Due to the fact that frozen foods are often safe to eat even after their expiration date, it is highly unlikely that you will get sick or have any effects if you eat frozen pizza after its best by date. 

Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can see the symptoms of food poisoning on the CDC website to give you that peace of mind. 

How to Store Frozen Pizza Correctly?

Temperature

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if frozen food is consistently kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it should last indefinitely if the packaging has not been opened or damaged. So, the temperature is a massive factor in how your frozen pizza should be stored.

Whilst freezing food does not kill off bacteria, it stops it from growing whilst stored at the correct temperature and therefore minimizes any risk of food poisoning or illness.

If the frozen pizza is left out in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more, you should discard it, just to be safe. 

To ensure that your freezer is at the right temperature, you can buy thermometers to put into your freezer and regularly check it. You should do this at least once a week. By taking these precautions, you are ensuring that your frozen foods last for longer. 

Containers

If you have bought an already frozen pizza from the store, chances are that it is already packaged correctly and you wouldn’t have to do anything with this.

However, if you have homemade pizza or leftovers from takeout, you should think about extra measures to put in place to ensure that you are correctly storing it. 

You should place your pizza into a freezer-safe airtight container. This ensures that there’s little room for bacteria to accumulate when opening and closing your freezer, as well as being a good way to prevent freezer burn.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not frozen pizza goes bad can be a little tricky to give a straightforward answer. Frozen pizza does technically expire. After being stored for a long period of time, frozen pizza will eventually lose its original yummy taste and the texture may become a little spongier. 

Ideally, that’s not what you really want! So, to ensure that you can still reap the delicious benefits of your pizza, aim to consume within 12-18 months. 

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