Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pizza?

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Don’t you have a slice of pizza every week?

The answer is a yes for about 90% of us since this fast food has been dominating the market for years. Hence, you must know everything about this staple snack, especially its storage!

But why should you pay so much attention to putting away your pizza? Can you get food poisoning from pizza that is stored improperly?

You can get food poisoning from leftover pizza that has not been stored correctly. It attracts bacterial growth, resulting in severe food poisoning and immense bodily harm. Often ingredients used can be rotten. Furthermore, using several preservatives in takeaway pizza can cause food poisoning too.

Learn all that you need to know about pizza storage down below!

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pizza?

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pizza

Yes, most certainly you can. However, not every pizza you eat will give you food poisoning; certain factors come into play. The ingredients may have gone bad, or the pizza has been sitting out too long. It can lead to the growth of bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Here are a few food poisoning-causing factors.

1. Bacterial Growth:

The most common reason for getting food poisoning from pizza is that it is stored incorrectly, and the pizza goes bad.

It happens when the leftover pizza is kept in a hot place for a long period, leading to bacteria, such as norovirus growing. It leads to the pizza getting contaminated; thus, eating it can lead to severe food poisoning.

Another common reason you can get food poisoning after eating a pizza is a contagion known as salmonella bacteria. This virus is usually found in raw fruits and vegetables. Which, when used in pizza, can lead to food poisoning.

2. Toxins And Chemicals

Another reason for getting food poisoning from pizza is the toxins and chemicals in fast food pizza ingredients. A few such ingredients are botulinum toxic, nitrate, and cyanide.

Typically when used in foods, they are used in ample quantities, which is not detectable by food safety and is not generally harmful to your body. But if used in high amounts, it can cause food poisoning.

It typically occurs in fast food chains as they try to make the ingredients last longer.

3. Parasite Infection,

A possible yet uncommon reason for getting food poisoning from pizza is parasite infection. Parasites such as Toxocara spp., Trichinella spiralis, and Giardia lamblia can spread through contaminated meat which could lead to food poisoning when eaten.

4. Lactose Intolerance,

One more possible reason for food poisoning from pizza is lactose intolerance. It’s one of the side effects of eating pizza. If you are lactose intolerant and eat pizza, the cheese can trigger irritation and lead to food poisoning.

How To Tell If A Pizza Has Gone Bad?

How To Tell If A Pizza Has Gone Bad

Letting a pizza sit out in the open for a while can get rotten, but the issue is that most people need help to identify when a pizza becomes harmful.

Here are some ways you can determine whether a pizza has gone bad.

1. Smells Bad

This is the first thing you will notice on a pizza that has gone bad. The pizza will give off an odd unappetizing smell.

When cheese goes bad, it gives off a very odd and rotten smell. However, it is not very noticeable from the get-go, so a rule of thumb is to see if your pizza smells slightly different or funny. If it does, it’s time to throw it away.

2. Tastes Odd

It is a normal giveaway on whether a pizza is bad. When ingredients in the pizza, such as cheese, veggies, and meat, start getting bad due to bacteria, it will begin to taste bad. If your pizza tastes bitter or unappealing after heating it, then the odds are it has gone bad.

3. Slime Starts Forming

Another easy way to identify whether the pizza has gone bad is by checking whether the toppings, such as cheese, mushrooms, chicken, sausage, etc., have gotten slimy. If you see any slimy mucus forming on the toppings, it is time to throw it away.

Remember, eating slimy pizza will undoubtedly lead to food poisoning and maybe a trip to the hospital bed.

4. Mold Starts To Grow

If you see mold on your pizza, it has gone way past just going bad. The pizza is starting to rot, and you have to throw the entire pizza away.

Even if only a side of it has green, black, and white mold on it, do not eat the rest. Throw the entire thing away. Eating that pizza can cause severe health issues.

5. Hard Texture

The hard and dry texture is another possible way to identify whether the pizza has gone bad.

Even after reheating, if the pizza is still dry and stiff, it’s suggested not to eat it. Technically it has to yet gotten bad, but it is starting to. You can still eat it, but it won’t be enjoyable. Thus, it’s better to throw it away.

How Long Does A Pizza Last Before Going Bad?

Well, different pizzas last for different times when left out in the open without storing them properly in the freezer. Here is a chart showing how long each pizza lasts before going bad.

Pizza NameDuration
Cheese Pizza4 Days
Pepperoni Pizza4-7 days
Margherita Pizza4 days
Pastrami and Spinach Pizza3 days
Sea Food Pizza.24 hours.

How To Store Pizza Properly So That It Does Not Go Bad

How To Store Pizza Properly So That It Does Not Go Bad

It is often hard to finish up an entire takeaway pizza, and commonly we are left with a few slices remaining. Most of us plan to eat it the next day for lunch or dinner, but it is crucial to know how to store it properly, or else it may not be good by the next day.

So how do you store pizza correctly?

  • Take an airtight container and place a piece of tissue paper or parchment paper at the bottom. It will help soak up any moisture so that the pizza does not get hard.
  • Then put the pizza in and place another piece of tissue or parchment paper on top for the same reason.
  • Now, seal the air-tight box properly. Keeping it in an air-tight container is crucial because the pizza will go hard if it is in contact with the air due to its moisture.
  • Finally, place the container in your refrigerator. Keeping it in the fridge is essential because keeping it at room temperature will lead to the bacteria growing, and the pizza will start going bad.

However, if left in the refrigerator, bacteria will not be able to grow, thus keeping the pizza fresh.

But we do suggest keeping it in the fridge for a maximum of 7 days no more.

How To Tell If You Have Food Poisoning?

There are a few ways to tell if you have food poisoning.

  • The first is heavy stomach cramps. You will start feeling severe pain in the middle and upper stomach which can seem unbearable.
  • The second possible way of identifying whether you have food poisoning is upset stomach and diarrhea. It is the apparent reason to identify if you have food poisoning.
  • The upset stomach and diarrhea often lead to vomiting, which is another symptom of food poisoning. You will start having stomach growling vomits after every few minutes.
  • Lastly, all of these will follow up with a fever that will make you shiver and cause body pain.

If you have all these symptoms, it is safe to say you have food poisoning.

What To Do If You Have Food Poisoning?

If you are sure you have food poisoning, then here are some things you should do.

  • Drink a lot of water, especially oral saline water.
  • Avoid eating foods that may worsen your symptoms, such as pineapple, garlic, onion, and raw vegetables.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Drink a lot of liquid food and rest as much as possible.
  • If the symptoms don’t stop after a few hours and start getting worse, such as excessive diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, call your doctor as soon as possible and go to the hospital.


  • Why would pizza make you sick?

There are two reasons why pizza can make you sick either because your lactase enzyme levels are too low or the pizza has gone bad and is bacteria infested. If bacterial growth has begun on your pizza toppings or crust, eating it can result in food poisoning or other health issues.

  • Is pizza OK to leave out overnight?

Leaving it overnight may not be the best idea, as it may start getting bad through bacteria growth. We suggest keeping it on your fridge to ensure it stays in the best condition.

  • How quickly does food poisoning kick in?

Food poisoning takes about 6-24 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Usually, after 4 hours, symptoms such as upset stomach and cramps should kick in.

  • Can undercooked frozen pizza cause food poisoning?

Undercooked frozen pizza can trigger food poisoning as the pizza dough is raw and contain germ from not being cooked enough. It can cause severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and foodborne illness caused by Escherichia coli.

Final Words

So, can you get food poisoning from pizza? Yes, if the pizza has gone bad. A pizza affected by bacteria such as norovirus or salmonella can cause food poisoning. So it is essential to make sure you are eating a good pizza.

However, if the pizza is appropriately stored or bought from a well-known restaurant, it is unlikely to cause food poisoning.