When you order pizza for dinner do you leave it out overnight or put the leftovers in the fridge? This was an interesting debate this week in our household.

Not that this was much of a debate between my wife and I, it was rather an interesting discussion. She comes from the camp that you leave the pizza out overnight, while I grew up always putting the pizza in the fridge.

Many people leave pizza out overnight, and still eat it the next day. Is this even safe? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it’s dangerous to eat any cooked food that has been allowed to sit at room temperature for two hours or longer. This includes pizza, and other various takeout items.

The reason is that temperatures between 40° F and 140° F provide the perfect breeding environment for so-called “pathogenic bacteria” — the kind of bacteria that causes foodborne illness. And here’s the tricky part: Pathogenic bacteria generally does not affect the taste, smell, or appearance of food. In other words, just because the pizza smells ok to you, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat."

Chances are you aren't getting sick if you eat pizza the next day you left out.

Where do you stand?


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