Do Frozen Pizzas Go Bad?

Published Categorized as Food
Woman looking skeptically at a frozen pizzand3000 /Depositphotos

Not if you keep them under 0°F (-18°C). Discover if frozen pizzas expire, and how to store them so they stay fresh for as long as possible.

We all love frozen pizzas. They’re easy to make, quick to be ready, and most of the time tasty to eat.

But if you’ve stumbled across an old frozen pizza in the back of your fridge and you’re now questioning if it’s still good, this might make you scared to eat it. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to find out whether or not that pizza is still edible.

Frozen pizzas stay safe to eat forever, but they do lose their freshness and go down in quality as time goes by. If the expiration date on a frozen pizza in your freezer has passed, it’s fine to eat; it just won’t taste as good as it once did.

Of course, this is assuming you kept the pizza in the freezer the entire time and your freezer maintains the correct temperature of 0°F (-18°C) to halt bacterial activity and keep food indefinitely edible.

If you want to learn more about how to tell if your frozen pizza is bad and how to keep it fresh for as long as possible, this article will teach you everything you need to know.

Let’s get into it!

How Long Do Frozen Pizzas Last?

Typically, a store-bought frozen pizza will last up to 18 months in the freezer before it begins to lose its quality. Even then, it will probably last quite a bit longer as long as it was stored properly. Homemade pizzas tend to last about 4-6 months in the freezer as long as they’ve been stored correctly.

One common culprit of pizza that is no longer fresh is freezer burn, which happens when the food loses its moisture and ice crystals form on the outside. This can make the pizza taste worse (or have no taste at all), and it usually happens if it’s been sitting in the freezer for too long.

But the general rule is that the frozen pizza won’t become compromised until it’s been at least 18 months. After that, the taste and texture may start to wane a little bit.

How Should You Store a Frozen Pizza to Keep It Fresh For Longer?

The most important factor when storing your frozen pizza is going to be the temperature of your freezer.

The FDA states that frozen food should be kept at 0°F (-18°C) in its original, unopened packaging in order to last indefinitely. So making sure that your freezer is consistently kept at 0°F (-18°C) is going to play a big factor in how long your pizza lasts.

It’s also very crucial to make sure that your pizza remains in its unopened, undamaged packaging.

This will keep it safe from any outside air, which could contaminate the pizza or speed up the process of freezer burn. Being sure that the pizza is safe inside its packaging is really helpful in keeping it fresh for as long as possible.

If your pizza is homemade or the packaging was damaged, you will have to package it yourself if you want it to last.

The best way to do this is to tightly wrap the pizza in plastic wrap or foil. For the best results, you should double wrap it (once with foil and another time with plastic wrap). This should keep your pizza at peak quality for as long as possible.

How Do You Tell If A Frozen Pizza Has Gone Bad?

It can be hard to tell if a frozen pizza is bad just by looking at it, and you may actually have to cook it to get the full effect.

However, if the frozen pizza looks discolored or has dry spots on it, these are signs that it is starting to go bad. If this is the case, the pizza is usually still fine to eat, but it’s gone stale and may taste more like the cardboard packaging and less like the real thing.

If your frozen pizza seems slimy or has a strong, strange smell to it, it definitely isn’t a good idea to eat it. Though it’s very hard for bacteria to grow on frozen food, it is still possible, and you don’t want to end up eating anything like that.

If the pizza looks good before it’s cooked, you should cook it as usual. However, if it looked good initially, it will probably taste fine. You might notice some dry spots or a stale taste if the pizza is super old, but this isn’t very likely. 

Can Expired Frozen Pizza Make You Sick?

If the pizza wasn’t spoiled before you froze it and it was frozen continuously, it’s very unlikely that it can make you sick. It can be dried out and have freezer burn, but it’s unlikely that it would have spoiled in the freezer.

Freezing food slows down bacteria growth very dramatically, making it almost impossible for bacteria to grow. This is why frozen pizza will last so long in the freezer without any problems. 

However, if you happen to thaw the pizza before cooking it, this could lead to bacterial growth. You would have to leave the pizza out at room temperature for over 1-2 hours for any real problems to occur, but this is the most plausible way that you might get sick from eating frozen pizza.

The safe way to thaw out frozen pizza is to not thaw it out at all! Simply preheat your oven as high as it goes, with bakeware inside, and simply slide the pizza from frozen.

Related: How to Make Frozen Pizza Taste Better

Final Thoughts

Overall, frozen pizza has a pretty long shelf life. It can last for up to 18 months in the freezer without starting to go bad, and even after that, it might still be fine to eat.

Frozen pizza doesn’t usually “go bad” where it becomes inedible, but it may taste become bland or dry. Just use your best judgment, and if the pizza doesn’t seem too off, chances are that it’s completely fine to enjoy.

By Jim Stonos

When Jim isn't in the kitchen, he is usually spending time with family and friends, and working with the HCW editorial team to answer the questions he used to ask himself back when he was learning the ropes of cooking.