Do Frozen Pizza Expire or Go Bad?

For some people eating frozen pizza has been a necessity during lean times, such as attending college or university when living away from home.

This rite of passage may have seen some pretty questionable pizzas consumed in the name of Being brave or stupid. When it comes to frozen pizza, does it ever go bad and should not be eaten?

Let’s find out if frozen pizzas have an indefinite life span or do they expire and go bad within a time frame that could render you sick if you were to eat them.

Let’s get into it.

Is it OK to eat an expired frozen pizza?

How often have you come home from a night out with friends and opened the freezer door to be confronted by the best-looking frozen pizza in the world? You pick the pizza up and flip the box to find the pizza has expired. It happens all too often.

Oh my word, the trepidation builds as you face the dilemma of should I or shouldn’t I. Guess which decision comes out on top 9 out of 10  times?

You got it. You open the pizza packaging, take a quick glance to satisfy your culinary curiosity, decide it looks brand new, and throw it in the oven for twenty minutes.

You retrieve the pizza from the oven, head for the knife, and proceed to cut yourself some pizza triangles.

The first bite is an explosion of flavor, from glorious creamy mozzarella to smooth tomato sauce and whatever toppings you can recognize.

Despite not being poisoned, are you right to eat an expired pizza?

Well, it comes down to how long ago the pizza expired. A rule of thumb suggests you can eat a frozen pizza for up to 50% of the time it expires, meaning a pizza with a frozen life of 6 months should be ok for nine months!

Does it sound like pie in the sky to you?

How long can frozen pizza last in the freezer?

Suppose the pizza is correctly stored in the freezer at around -19℉ in an airtight container that could be its original packaging. In that case, it is suggested that the pizza is good for two months only, and given the 50% rule, it can be eaten three months after purchase. But that seems like a short time.

Like many foods, the expiry date is the date that the manufacturers state that suggests the contents of the packaging will taste as it should from new, the flavor will not diminish, and it will still look good. 

After this date, all bets are off, and your own, which is fine as long as you know what’s in your pizza that could possibly become rancid while frozen.

What’s in a pizza that could go bad?

If you examine the ingredients of a pizza base, they are pretty simple and innocuous. Its flour has been treated by heat to extend its raw shelf life from weevils and other insects that inhabit wheat in the field, so you can assume that it’s perfectly fine.

Olive oil is not known for having a short shelf life. Yeast, a natural substance used as a raising agent, and water plus a pinch or two of salt.

When mixed and rested, the concoction forms the pizza base, slightly stretchy dough without taste or odor.

It’s standard to place dough in the fridge for a few days and let the dough rise until ready for the pizza. The dough is often left at room temperature, meaning the pizza dough is not really subject to the same rules as meat, where a two-hour countertop time renders it unfit for consumption.

If the pizza is basic, like a Margherita, pasteurized sieved tomatoes and mozzarella are the final ingredients, and maybe a sprinkle of oregano for flavor.

Mozzarella will go bad after a few days when left unrefrigerated but has an enormously long life when frozen.

At what point will a frozen pizza go bad?

If your frozen pizza is continuously frozen, it will not go bad, it has an indefinite shelf life, but once the pizza loses its frozen state, it should be eaten immediately. It may stay in the fridge for a day or two, but it is a good idea to consume it the same day.

There are suggestions that a frozen pizza will go bad after 18 months of being in the freezer.

How can you tell if frozen pizza is bad?

Frozen pizza does not go bad if the low temperature of the freezer is maintained. What happens to frozen pizza after 18 months is it can be subject to freezer burn.

A frozen pizza with a freezer burn is not bad. It has just got an altered texture. Freezer burn is not a state of putrefaction; it’s a form of product dehydration.

A frozen pizza with freezer burn is perfectly safe to eat and should still be delicious.

What happens if you eat expired pizza dough

If you’re wondering what happens if you eat expired pizza dough, the answer is that it can make you sick. Pizza dough is made from yeast and flour, which can both spoil if left out for too long. Eating expired pizza dough can cause food poisoning symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

It’s important to always check the expiration date on your pizza dough and make sure it’s still fresh before using it. If you’re unsure about the freshness of your dough, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.

You can always make a new batch or buy a fresh one at the store. Don’t take the risk of getting sick by eating expired pizza dough.

How do you identify freezer burn?

Freezer burn on a pizza will manifest itself as white splotches and maybe ice crystals forming on the surface of the pizza.

According to the food safety inspection service part of the USDA, freezer burn is insignificant and does not render your pizza unfit for consumption.

What happens if you don’t keep a frozen pizza frozen?

If your pizza is thawed, don’t consider it unsafe to eat, it is probably perfect for eating, and you should go ahead and cook it.

If your pizza smells and looks fine, it is acceptable to eat so don’t get hung up about eating this food. 

How do you know if your pizza is bad?

If your pizza has been stored in its original packaging, the packaging will likely expand with gas from the pizza. When you pierce the packaging around the pizza, there will be a rancid smell. Mozzarella smells sour when it’s bad and tastes tangy.

The pizza dour will have become sticky and tacky, and it will also smell pretty bad. If you have a pizza in this condition, throw it away immediately.

How long is cooked frozen pizza good for?

If you are looking for that quick midnight snack and can’t manage a whole pizza, cook it. Slice into portions and refreeze. The good news is that cooked frozen pizza is good for sixty days when refrozen.

Your pizza may even become more delicious as the cooked cheese, oil, and tomatoes infuse with the pizza dough.

Is it better to thaw frozen pizza before cooking?

You might feel like you are walking on the wild side of life here. Most frozen pizzas are supposed to be cooked from frozen, but this is somewhat counterintuitive when a fresh pizza is cooked with soft ingredients.

Cooking from frozen will cause some burning unless you stand over the pizza and adjust the oven temperature every minute.

Cooking a thawed pizza will give you the real deal experience, ist like you have ordered an authentic pizza to eat at home. The cook time is reduced, and the cheese and tomato become infused like the Italians intended them to be.

It is all about preference. If you like how frozen pizza tastes when cooked frozen, then that’s how you should eat it.

Are frozen pizzas precooked?

No. Your frozen pizza is likely assembled on an automated production line, chilled, and then packaged and sent directly to the retailer, and the cooking part is for you to enjoy.

To get the best out of your pizza, wind the oven thermostat to a maximum and let the oven get as hot as possible before placing the pizza in the oven.

How can I make an expired pizza even better?

Making a pizza better is about adding toppings but don’t be tempted to throw some bacon and onions on the pizza and expect them to come out of the oven perfectly.

Onions and bacon must be precooked, so they are not raw when they come out of the oven. Adding fresh tomatoes and other veggies is an excellent way to bring a pizza to life. Try a can of tuna for something extra special.

Do you put frozen pizza directly on the oven rack?

If the pizza is frozen, has a pre-made crust, or is already cooked and being reheated, it should be cooked directly on the oven rack. The direct placement of raw pizza dough on the oven rack will cause it to fall through the cracks.

Pizza stones for domestic ovens are a great addition to the kitchen for pizza lovers, and the stone gives a more authentic feeling to the pizza crust.

Final thoughts

Frozen pizzas are an essential part of the busy person’s diet, and whether a rite of passage or night, a late-night expired pizza can be just the treat you are searching for.

If your pizza has been continually frozen for a long time, it is likely to be perfect and can be cooked and consumed without any degradation to the ingredients.

However, if you come across a pizza with a funky smell, you bet it is spoiled and should be thrown in the garbage immediately.

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