Pizza, as the name, suggests is very tasty. It is known and loved throughout the world, with its recipes differing with every region. About 80 percent of the people are pizza lovers, and definitely, none of them would want to waste a pizza on which they had spent money. What if you accidentally left your pizza lying on the counter overnight?
This is a horrific image and may raise serious questions like what would happen if you eat that pizza in the morning. The actual answer, whether it is safe to eat it or not, is quite unpredictable. There are many who ate it, and nothing happened, whereas some suffered ailments such as nausea, stomach ache, and diarrhea.
It highly depends upon your immunity whether you can digest an overnight kept pizza or not. But according to researches done by the U.S Department of Agriculture, it is not safe to eat a pizza if kept outside for two to three hours. So, eating a pizza kept overnight might cause your food-borne diseases.
What temperature range is safe if pizza is left out overnight?
Obviously, the temperature zone differs in this case. There is a certain temperature at which illness-causing bacteria would be allowed to attack your precious pizza. It means that if you left your pizza out on a summer night, you are safe. You can eat it without a worry as the room temperature would be less than forty degrees Fahrenheit, which would be like you kept the pizza in a refrigerator.
Meat vs. Cheese Pizza
It also depends whether your pizza is only a cheese pizza or meat pizza or any other kind of vegetables or mushrooms are loaded over it. If your pizza has meat on it, it is definitely an expensive one, but unfortunately, you cannot eat it if left out overnight at a room temperature higher than forty to forty-five degrees Fahrenheit, which means a complete summer night.
If your pizza has vegetables on it and no meat, you can eat it if kept out for six hours in summer. In winter, when the room temperature is below forty degrees Fahrenheit, it can easily be kept out for two to four days.
If it is a cheese pizza, it would be safe to eat if you accidentally left it out for a night at a temperature below thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit. If your cheese pizza is forgotten for about six hours on the kitchen counter on a summer night, it is somewhat safe to eat. But the real reason why pizza cannot be kept for too long is the cheese because it gets rotten very quickly.
Cooked vs. Uncooked Pizza
There is a lot of difference when it comes to cooked and uncooked pizza. It is quite certain that if you want to preserve a pizza, it must be kept on a temperature scale below forty degrees Fahrenheit. But except temperature, there are many other factors that affect the bacterial growth in pizza.
Some sauces and vegetables such as tomatoes and cabbage are very moist in nature. And moisture provides a medium for bacteria to grow and multiply in number real quickly. Some sauces containing tomatoes and olives are also very moist.
So, to control moisture, it is better if the pizza is cooked. Because once all the things are baked and cooked, the overall temperature and moisture of pizza are balanced, so it would not increase any bacterial growth, which results in food contamination. Moisture can easily be controlled by properly cooking the pizza.
It shows that uncooked pizza is more likely to catch food-borne diseases as compared to cooked pizza and should not be kept out at any cost. Once the pizza is cooked, you only need to control its temperature, but if the pizza is uncooked, you would have to take care of the temperature and keep it in some air-tight container to prevent bacteria from being inculcated in moisture.
So, the answer to what would happen if you eat a pizza kept out overnight are unpredictable. But you should pay attention to the temperature zones provided as no one would definitely like to get ill just for the sake of a pizza only.