Frozen pizza can be a quick and easy meal, but storing it properly and knowing when it expires is important. As someone who enjoys cooking frozen pizza at home, I set out to find how long it actually lasts in the freezer and refrigerator. So, I opened my laptop and searched online to find out. Guess what I found out?
Frozen pizza can last for up to 2 to 18 months in the freezer when stored properly. Even USDA guidelines recommend specific storage times for various foods, but deep freezing can extend their shelf life indefinitely as long as quality is acceptable. Let me share more details and some guidelines for you to follow to keep your frozen pizza fresh and safe to eat.
How Long Frozen Pizza Lasts In The Freezer?
As I mentioned earlier, USDA guidelines recommend specific storage times for various foods, but deep freezing can extend their shelf life indefinitely as long as quality is acceptable. However, An unopened frozen pizza can last between 2 to 18 months past the printed expiration date in the freezer as long as it stays continuously frozen. Freezing stops the growth of bacteria and other microbes that cause food spoilage.
According to the FDA Food Code, commercially prepared frozen foods like frozen pizza should be kept frozen at 0°F or below to remain safe indefinitely. Most standard household freezers provide these consistent freezing temperatures.
To get the longest freezer life, store frozen pizzas in air-tight packaging. This prevents freezer burn, moisture loss, and absorption of off-odors from other foods. I like to place mine in zip-top freezer bags.
How To Tell If Frozen Pizza Has Gone Bad?
Frozen pizza can be a quick and easy meal, but no one wants to bite into spoiled pizza that could cause food poisoning. Here’s how to inspect your frozen pizza and determine if it’s still safe to eat or ready for the trash.
Check the Packaging
The first place to look when determining if frozen pizza has gone bad is the packaging. Check for any:
- Tears, rips, or punctures in the cardboard or plastic wrapping.
- Damage to the edges or seals of the package.
- Liquid stains or oil spots seeping through.
Any breaches to the packaging can allow air, moisture, and bacteria to enter and contaminate the pizza, causing it to spoil faster. Discard any frozen pizzas with compromised packaging.
Inspect Appearance and Texture
Next, examine the pizza through the packaging for any discoloration or texture changes:
- Cheese should look creamy white, not yellow or brown.
- Crust should still be crisp and golden brown.
- Toppings should retain their original color and look fresh.
- No ice crystals, soggy patches, or fuzzy mold should be present.
Unusual colors, slimy cheese, dry crusts, and freezer burn spots indicate the pizza is past its prime. Don’t risk eating frozen pizza that looks questionable.
Take a Whiff
Sniff the frozen pizza inside the wrapper. It should have a normal pizza aroma. If you detect:
- Sour, fermented smells
- Ammonia-like aromas
- Rotten odors
This is a huge red flag that the pizza has spoiled. Trust your nose – pungent scents mean the pizza is inedible.
Verify Expiration Date
The expiry date on frozen pizza packaging isn’t 100% definitive but can serve as a helpful guideline. Frozen pizza stored continuously at 0°F can normally last beyond the printed date. However, if the date was many months or years ago, it’s wise to discard the pizza, even if it otherwise seems okay.
When In Doubt, Toss It Out!
If you have any uncertainty about the safety of a frozen pizza based on the packaging, appearance, smell, or date – don’t take risks! Toss it and get a fresh pizza. Frozen pizza is affordable and convenient, but it’s not worth jeopardizing your health.
Thawing And Shelf Life Of Refrigerated Pizza
After thawing in the refrigerator, frozen pizza will be kept for 3 to 5 days. Make sure to thaw frozen pizza in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. Room temperature thawing causes the outside edges to enter the danger zone for bacterial growth before defrosting the inner layers.
To thaw, place frozen pizza in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before you plan to bake it. For faster thawing, some brands allow microwave defrosting. Always check package instructions.
Once thawed, pizza lasts 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Discard any uneaten leftover pizza slices after this time. I recommend wrapping leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or foil and consuming within 3 days for food safety.
Frozen Pizza Storage Tips
Listen up if you want your frozen pizzas to stay safe and tasty as long as possible.
First, always keep that pizza in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container. This prevents it from getting freezer-burnt or drying out. And make sure to stash that pizza in the back of the freezer, far away from the door. That’s the coldest spot where the temperature stays nice and constant.
Oh, and don’t forget – the ideal freezer temperature for long-lasting frozen pizza is 0°F or below. Crank up that cold if you have to! Trust me, taking these simple steps will keep your precious frozen pizzas fresh and delicious for the maximum amount of time. Your taste buds and wallet will thank you later!
Storing frozen pizza right lets you safely enjoy it for months. The key is an airtight package and constant 0°F freezer temp. Before eating, give it a good look and sniff test. Any issues, say goodbye to that pizza! Thawed, eat it fast within 3-5 days. When in doubt, take the safe route – out to the trash. Follow my frozen pizza tips, and you can keep stocking your freezer with no worries!