How Long Does Frozen Pizza Last?

Freezing food is a fine practice. It’s a great way to maintain your food’s quality and keep it safer to eat for longer stretches. But while it can feel like food lasts forever in the freezer, it’s still possible for it to expire. One of the foods most commonly stuck in the freezer is pizza. So the question must be asked: just how long will frozen pizza last?

How Long Can Frozen Pizza Stay In The Freezer?

The most common answer is that properly stored, store-bought frozen pizza can maintain its quality for 18 months. It’s also generally considered safe to eat beyond that point. For homemade pizza or leftover takeout, you can keep it on ice for around a month or two.

Standard frozen pizza that you find at a store will often have artificial preservatives and additives. While that has its downsides, that does mean that these pizzas will last a lot longer than most. 

Pizza made at home or in a restaurant might last more in the ballpark of six weeks before losing quality. Mind you, that’s all assuming you have proper storing methods, which we’ll go into in more depth later.

How to Know if Frozen Pizza has Gone Bad?

There are a number of ways to be able to tell when a pizza has spoiled. Some may appear sooner than others, so make sure you’re aware of the warning signs! We’ll get into a few of them here.

Freezer Burn

Freezer burn is one of the more serious issues food kept in the freezer might be subject to. It’s a key sign that your food has dried out from staying in the cold too long. Freezer burn often takes the form of ice crystals forming on the storage unit’s contents.

With a pizza, this would normally occur on the box or plastic wrapping, which is less of a concern. But occasionally it can get to the food itself as well. In addition, some discoloration can occur, so watch for that. At times, freezer burn can also take the form of leathery, darkened patches.

Odor 

You probably have a basic idea of what your pizza should smell like. We’ve been around enough of them! If the smell is noticeably off, odds are pretty good that the pizza has gone bad. 

Mold

This one is by far the most obvious. Mold can appear in white or green splotches on your food. It should stand out the most on things like pepperoni, sausage, or olive slices. You probably don’t need us to tell you that eating mold isn’t a very good idea. By the time you see this, it’s too late to salvage that pizza, unfortunately. 

Slimy 

This is somewhat dependent on what kind of pizza we’re talking about. But some ingredients can turn slimy when spoiled. Unusual texture or consistency is generally a key sign that something has gone bad.

What Can Make Frozen Pizza Go Bad?

It’s fairly easy to keep pizza going for a lengthy stretch of time, there’s not much to remember. But as far as things that can spoil it, improper storage is a major culprit here. If you get a frozen pizza, know that it wasn’t frozen merely for kicks! It has to stay that way.

Pizza kept in subpar conditions can go bad pretty quickly. Leaving a frozen pizza in the cupboard or something similar isn’t an option. Even leaving it in the fridge can be a bad idea, as refrigerators generally aren’t cold enough. 

Of course, leaving it out to thaw for a short period of time before cooking or reheating it is fine. We’re talking about permanent storage here. 

How To Store Frozen Pizza

Here we’ll get into the nitty-gritty as far as proper pizza storage goes.

Temperature

It might sound redundant, but sincerely, you need to keep your frozen pizza… well, frozen! The FDA’s official stance on these matters is that food can last indefinitely when kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. That along with unbroken packaging can keep food, including pizza, from spoiling. 

This is not to say that a flash freeze will rid food of all bacteria. But those conditions are optimal when it comes to preventing any further bacteria from forming. Thusly it’s an easy recommendation as far as minimizing the risks of food poisoning. And of course, unsoiled food tastes a lot better too!

If your frozen pizza has been left out in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours? It’s a lost cause. That’s how quickly things can go wrong with improper storage. 

Most fridges are set to about 40 degrees, or a little less, by default. But to wholly ensure your pizza never goes above that, a freezer is your best bet. 

Containers

Pizza bought from a store will generally come in a box, and often have an airtight plastic wrapping as well. Sometimes they come purely in that wrapping. These are already perfectly acceptable as far as packaging goes. You shouldn’t need to do any additional work on packaging a store-bought pizza.

But what if you have homemade pizza, brought some takeout home, or have leftovers from a previously cooked frozen pizza? It can be easy to let your guard down in these situations! In these instances, you should seek to take some extra precautions.

A freezer-safe airtight container would be your best bet here. The plastic containers you might see Rubbermaid or Ziploc manufacture will work just fine. Just make sure that lid is on there nice and tight! 

This helps ensure that there’s no room for bacteria to accumulate when you open and shut your freezer door. And it should prevent freezer burn too!

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that pizza can last a long time provided you take the right steps. Store-bought frozen pizza can be put in the freezer and forgotten about for some time without any risks. However, you must keep it in its packaging and ensure that it stays well below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For other types of pizza, freezer-safe plastic containers are a must. They must be tightly sealed to avoid the spread of bacteria. Do that, and the pizza will not only remain safe to eat but quite delicious for a good long while!