There’s nothing better than a slice of fresh, hot pizza out of the oven. Sometimes though, game day or a get-together means the pizza needs to be warm and ready to eat for hours at a time. In situations like this, you may wonder, “what temperature should I be keeping my pizza at?”
All hot foods, including pizza, should be kept at a minimum of 140℉ to be considered food-safe. Foods kept below this temperature allow bacteria growth which can lead to food-borne illnesses. The optimal hot holding temperature for serving pizza is between 145℉ and 165℉.
Not enough people pay attention to food safety regulations. It’s important to keep pizza above 140℉ to keep it out of the so-called “Danger Zone.”
The Danger Zone is a range of temperature between 40℉ and 140℉. The Danger Zone is dubbed this because it is the optimal temperature range for most bacteria growth.
Between 40℉ and 140℉, the number of bacteria can double within 20 minutes time. That means if pizza is left at room temperature for an hour, the bacteria on it can multiply 8-fold. Within two hours, there could be 64 times the bacteria present on that pizza.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the USDA emphasizes the importance that if not served immediately, food be kept at or above 140℉.
The FSIS recommends that foods containing meats or eggs be kept at higher temperature ranges to ensure they remain safe for consumption. If your pizza has meat or eggs on it, it should be kept at an internal temperature between 145℉ and 165℉.
Keeping the pizza’s internal temperature in this range not only keeps it food safe but also retains its freshness. Pizza should only be held in this range for up to 4 hours. After this, the pizza should be discarded.
Whether you’re at a company outing, family party, or just having a weeknight dinner, it’s important to keep pizza at safe temperatures. Between 145℉ and 165℉, your pizza will remain safe, hot, and fresh for up to 4 hours.