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  #1  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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How dangerous is day-old, unrefrigerated pizza?

In separate cartons, there are slices left of plain, pepperoni, sausage, onion, and chicken pizza. There is also a carton with two slices--one slice with pepperoni and one plain, but they were from a 1/2 & 1/2, so they are touching.

They've been out all night, unrefrigerated in a room. It's 16 hours later.

Are any of them safe to eat?
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:14 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I had a roommate that left pizza out unrefrigerated. It didn't seem to bother him. He'd often finish off a pizza the next day. He even liked it unheated.

I never would eat the leftovers myself. But, my stomach gets tore up easily anyway.

YMMV

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-08-2010 at 11:17 AM..
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:14 AM
Alpha Twit Alpha Twit is offline
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I'd probably microwave and eat them but I'm not going to pretend that doing so is in anyway smart or healthy.

The smart money says to discard them.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:18 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Since we don't know all the factors involved, I don't think this question can be answered factually. Moving to IMHO from GQ.

Colibri
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:19 AM
Fried Dough Ho Fried Dough Ho is offline
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I had an Ex who loved this - he would keep them out for more than a day (a two or three!) until the ends started to curl up.

He would call those Elf Shoes and lived on them for several years.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:20 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I would never advise anyone that it's perfectly safe to eat.

That said, I would also not hesitate in eating it.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:22 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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This would be an excellent Mythbusters experiment.

Test several fast foods, pizza, burger, burrito etc. the next day for bacteria levels.

They've done a few bacteria tests before.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-08-2010 at 11:23 AM..
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:22 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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I always, always leave pizza out, and eat some the next day. Coincidentally, the only issue I had was a couple of weeks ago. It involved chicken pizza. Though I have left the same pizza out a half-dozen times before, with no problems, this time, I had some relatively minor diarrhea and vomiting issues. In general, not a problem, but I will think twice before doing it with chicken in the future.

ETA : I have an exceptionally strong stomach, in general.

Joe

Last edited by Yorikke; 11-08-2010 at 11:23 AM..
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:29 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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I used to eat day-old unrefrigerated pizza all the time in college (can't fit much in those dorm room mini-fridges) and never had any problems. It actually keeps fairly well for three or four days, though I wouldn't recommend keeping it around much longer than that.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:30 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Are you kidding me? What you're describing is the best kind of pizza!
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
This would be an excellent Mythbusters experiment.

Test several fast foods, pizza, burger, burrito etc. the next day for bacteria levels.

They've done a few bacteria tests before.
I'm not sure this is meaningful without knowing the point at which the bacterial level becomes dangerous. And even then, doesn't it depend on the particular species of bacteria?

In moderate to cold climates, I've done the pizza-next-day thing since I was a kid and never had any issues.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:41 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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I wouldn't eat the chicken one (even when it is hot and fresh) but I'd have no qualms about the pepperoni one. Heck, it's practically the same ingredients as pepperoni bread, and that stays at room temperature all the time.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:52 AM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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Weirdness.

This topic just came up this past weekend.

I recounted how once in college I left some pizza out unrefrigerated, overnight and the next morning decided to enjoy some.

I have as strong an internal processing unit as the next guy but within the hour that pizza came back up the way it came in. Fortunately I was no worse for wear and chalked it up as lesson learned.

Should you choose to indulge please report your findings to the rest of us as Iím a bit curious.
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:45 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
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Like others have admitted, I too started doing this in college 13 years ago. Pizza was ridiculously cheap, like $5 for a large pie, so I would get one or TWO and just keep them around in their boxes until they were done.

I still do it. Almost every Friday I'll get a large pizza (pizza is one of those things that ends up being cheaper the more you buy) and let it sit out Friday and Saturday nights and eat it over the weekend.

I haven't died yet and I've been doing this for years. It's not usually a meat pizza, tho - or if it is, it's sausage or pepperoni and nothing is going to kill sausage or pepperoni.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:48 PM
BigBertha BigBertha is offline
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Like others, I've done this before, but only when I'd run out of aluminum foil. Do you guys not have any?
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:49 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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For some reason, I've had it in my head that anything with a tomato base must be refrigerated or it'll go bad. So if I leave out pizza, or spaghetti sauce or something like that overnight, I toss it. I'm not sure why I think this, but it's just a habit now.

So, I probably wouldn't eat it, but I'm sure it won't kill you.

Last edited by EmAnJ; 11-08-2010 at 12:50 PM..
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:54 PM
Mister Owl Mister Owl is offline
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Somebody set up a poll. I'd like to know how this divides along the sexes.

Incidentally, pizza is best when it has be properly aged overnight on the counter or table.
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  #18  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:58 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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We always leave the pizza out and finish it the next day. Truly, left to my own devices, I would lean towards refrigeration, but my husband doesn’t believe it’s necessary and he seems to be right.
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  #19  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:09 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
For some reason, I've had it in my head that anything with a tomato base must be refrigerated or it'll go bad.
Most restaurants leave ketchup bottles on their tables without refrigeration and have no problems. A lot of tomato-based sauces are probably acid enough to inhibit bacterial growth.
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:17 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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One of the guys often brings a pizza to watch NFL on Sunday. Usually the box is left on the coffee table in the living room and I'll have a slice or two later that week.
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  #21  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:19 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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I'm not saying it's guaranteed safe, but... can I have some?
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  #22  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:21 PM
LawMonkey LawMonkey is offline
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Been doing this all my life; usually eat the stuff the next morning for breakfast without heating it up. I've been known to go another day on occasion, but it's rare--mostly because the bread gets wickedly stale by that time rather than any particular worry about contamination. In fact, my family has a certain cavalier streak about this type of thing--stew is often left sitting out on the stove overnight and eaten with no problems the next day, for example.

FWIW, I seem to have a strong stomach; never really have any digestive ailments.
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  #23  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:30 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is online now
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I can't really eat pizza any longer, but I always left it out overnight on the stovetop or counter as long as it was just sauce, cheese, cured meats, and veggies. No chicken or shrimp or anything like that.

Last edited by jsgoddess; 11-08-2010 at 01:33 PM..
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  #24  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:34 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Hasn't killed me yet.
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  #25  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:40 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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I don't think I've EVER kept left-over pizza in the fridge, and I've never been sick from it. Cold leftover pizza for breakfast was a rare treat in my house growing up :-)
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  #26  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:42 PM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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Originally Posted by AClockworkMelon View Post
Are you kidding me? What you're describing is the best kind of pizza!
Exactly. There is nothing better than a plain pizza that "aged" a bit, and then re-heated. I wouldn't do this with toppings on it though.
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  #27  
Old 11-08-2010, 01:55 PM
Scubaqueen Scubaqueen is offline
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Most restaurants leave ketchup bottles on their tables without refrigeration and have no problems. A lot of tomato-based sauces are probably acid enough to inhibit bacterial growth.
totally no problem with eating pizza left out overnight. done it many times.

the only way i might not chow down on overnight pizza is if anything on the pizza might have a cream base - and i'm not talking about the cheese. something like alfredo sauce as a topping would give me pause because of the potential to become an oversized petri dish.

all the other typical pizza toppings are pretty much already well-preserved meats like sausage, ham, etc. in fact, i love hawaiian pizza, which i've left out on more than one occasion simply because i forgot about it. between the ham, the pineapple and the sauce (all acidic), Colibri is right: too acid for bacterial growth.
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  #28  
Old 11-08-2010, 02:42 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Tell everyone in the office that the pizzas are extremely dangerous. No one should even touch them for fear of dying instantly from horrible food-borne diseases.

Offer to dispose of them as a public safety benefit.

Then, take them home and eat them.

Ultimately, pizza is well-designed from an anti-microbial standpoint. Most components are acidic and/or salty. Almost all of the seasonings are anti-microbial too, including garlic, oregano, black pepper, red chile, other peppers and onions.
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  #29  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:13 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I might hesitate over the chicken, but the rest wouldn't bother me.

My wife lived for a year with a family in Paris that didn't have a fridge. They never hesitated to eat left-overs.

A friend of mine once inadvertently left a Mickey D's milkshake in the trunk of his car for a week. When he discovered it, he expected to see a large growth of mold. Absolutely nothing. it was incapable of supporting life. Although he didn't try to drink it.
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  #30  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:37 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Tomato sauce is supposed to hostile to microscopic critters. I've eaten cheese pizza left out over night. Pepperoni is hardly a food, I'd eat that too as long as it wasn't a hot and sweaty day. Sausage, maybe not...you take your chance by eating unrefrigerated pizza, but how long does it take to go bad, anyway? I've had pizza at parties that has sat around for hours and we're still munching away at it.
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  #31  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:42 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
A friend of mine once inadvertently left a Mickey D's milkshake in the trunk of his car for a week. When he discovered it, he expected to see a large growth of mold. Absolutely nothing. it was incapable of supporting life. Although he didn't try to drink it.


Oh, whew! You scared me there for a second. I thought you were going to say he drank it.
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  #32  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:52 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
In separate cartons, there are slices left of plain, pepperoni, sausage, onion, and chicken pizza. There is also a carton with two slices--one slice with pepperoni and one plain, but they were from a 1/2 & 1/2, so they are touching.

They've been out all night, unrefrigerated in a room. It's 16 hours later.

Are any of them safe to eat?
One day? I've eaten two slices that had sat out in the box on the counter for two days. Plain only though, no extra toppings. I just popped those bad boys in the microwave for thirty seconds and they were almost as good as when they were first delivered.

I actually meant to throw them away, but got a 'why not?' vibe as I was headed to the trash and instantly pivoted toward the microwave. I was thisclose to chucking them though. It doesn't hurt that I like day old pizza anyway.

Last edited by Onomatopoeia; 11-08-2010 at 03:54 PM..
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  #33  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:57 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
A friend of mine once inadvertently left a Mickey D's milkshake in the trunk of his car for a week. When he discovered it, he expected to see a large growth of mold. Absolutely nothing. it was incapable of supporting life. Although he didn't try to drink it.
Please - I have read some reports that left McD's shakes our for a YEAR and they were still basically fine. I will see if I can find one. Here's a report on a 12-year-old McD's burger...and here's a Happy Meal that lasted 6 months....

As for pizza - my first thought was the same as pulykamell's: I would never tell anyone it was completely safe, but wouldn't hesitate to eat it myself...

Last edited by WordMan; 11-08-2010 at 04:00 PM..
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  #34  
Old 11-08-2010, 04:05 PM
gwendee gwendee is offline
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On Friday night we ordered pizza to fuel an evening project at work. The boxes do not fit in the mini fridge, as noted above. My son and I both ate leftover pizza for lunch on Saturday. I feel I should mention that the boxes we left in an unheated hallway. I might think twice about eating pizza that had spent the night in our toasty warm livingroom.

As others have said, the one with chicken would give me pause.
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  #35  
Old 11-08-2010, 04:05 PM
davidm davidm is offline
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Definitely not the chicken. Would you eat day old unrefrigerated chicken?
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  #36  
Old 11-08-2010, 04:40 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Hasn't killed me yet.

I do microwave it, because I can't stand cold pizza - so maybe that takes care of the germs.
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  #37  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:01 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
Definitely not the chicken. Would you eat day old unrefrigerated chicken?
Sure. I'm terrible about these sorts of things. I leave food lying out overnight all the time, everything from roast chicken to cream-based sauces to broths and stews. I know they're bacterial cesspools, but I haven't gotten sick from them yet.
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  #38  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:03 PM
FallenAngel FallenAngel is offline
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I've eaten 100s of pieces of meat covered pizza stored in this manner over the years - it's actually how I prefer it - and I've never once had an adverse effect. YMMV, of course.
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  #39  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:14 PM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is offline
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It's extremely dangerous. Whatever you do, don't eat any of it. I suggest you send it to me immediately, and I will dispose of it for you.

I can't count the number of day old pizza I've eaten. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but I wouldn't think twice about it as long as it smelled OK.
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  #40  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:17 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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Now I'm trying to remember a song about waking up after a party, eating cold pizza and drinking warm beer. It'll come.

Oh, and I eat day old pizza. No warm beer, though.
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  #41  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:44 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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I woud eat any or all slices and not think twice.
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  #42  
Old 11-08-2010, 05:47 PM
norinew norinew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmAnJ View Post
For some reason, I've had it in my head that anything with a tomato base must be refrigerated or it'll go bad.
As others have said, this just isn't true. In fact, the reason marinara sauce is called 'marinara' is that it was discovered centuries ago that it was so acidic that barrels of it could go on sailing ships headed for long voyages, and not go bad.

My sister is almost phobic about things being properly and promptly put away (me? I figure, God gave me an immune system, I might as well use it), but the one thing she will eat that hasn't been thoroughly wrapped and refrigerated is pizza. As long as it's well-covered, it should be fine the next day. Like others, I'd be wary of toppings like chicken or seafood. But cured meats, cheese, tomato sauce should all be fine.
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  #43  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:00 PM
Smapti Smapti is offline
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From the perspective of a restaurant industry professional, I wouldn't recommend eating pizza that had been left out overnight. The meat on a pizza is potentially hazardous, and if it has cooked vegetables on it they're potentially hazardous as well. It only takes 4 hours at room temperature for bacteria present on the food to multiply to potentially hazardous levels - even more so if an inattentive pizza cook didn't cook the pie long enough to kill the bacteria present in the raw food.

That being said, I always stick my leftover pizza in the fridge when i'm done eating what I want to eat right away.
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  #44  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:22 PM
kidneyfailure kidneyfailure is offline
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Originally Posted by AClockworkMelon View Post
Are you kidding me? What you're describing is the best kind of pizza!
Seriously! It's totally safe and totally delicious.
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  #45  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:35 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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As a kid, we'd leave left over pizza in the (cold) oven, in the box. I nuked anything with toppings, but cold leftover cheese pizza is excellent!
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  #46  
Old 11-08-2010, 08:13 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Most restaurants leave ketchup bottles on their tables without refrigeration and have no problems. A lot of tomato-based sauces are probably acid enough to inhibit bacterial growth.
Very good point (et all)!

I'm going to leave my next pizza out for a night and try it the next morning. Too many of you attesting to it's deliciousness has convinced me.

Last edited by EmAnJ; 11-08-2010 at 08:17 PM..
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  #47  
Old 11-08-2010, 08:33 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Actually there was a thread on this very subject where the question was is pizza safe after four hours?

I can't be arsed to search for it right now, but the consensus was: 4 hour old pizza is teh poison.
Which I found absurd, not just because I eat much older pizza all the time but because many buffets and cafes have similar things (e.g. cheesy croissant) that they may leave at room temperature for longer than that. Or maybe there are a lot of places that should be closed down...

My WAG is that it may have to do with moisture. That a fairly dry pizza will be fine for, say, 8 hours, but a hypothetical sloppy pizza could become putrid within that time.

Last edited by Mijin; 11-08-2010 at 08:33 PM..
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  #48  
Old 11-08-2010, 09:12 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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It's probably not something I'd recommend, but it hasn't killed me. I heat it up because I don't like cold pizza. Whether that kills the bugs or encourages them to multiply faster I don't know.
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  #49  
Old 11-08-2010, 10:41 PM
Spud Spud is online now
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Apparently the OP didn't go to college.
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  #50  
Old 11-08-2010, 10:43 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I would probably eat them, except for the chicken. Many's the time I've had leftover pizza for breakfast. I'm kind of a picky eater but I'm pretty much immune from food fears.

But then, I once ate a caramel that I'd left in my pocket for a wash cycle (and dry cycle). I basically had to gnaw it out of the seam in the lining. I doubt that anyone else would have eaten it.
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