How Long Frozen Pizzas Last in the Freezer [Even After Expiry]

No one can deny the convenience frozen pizza offers. But how long can it stay in the freezer? Frozen pizzas can last for 5 to 12 months in the freezer, depending on the brand. They …

frozen pizzas in a freezer in a supermarket

No one can deny the convenience frozen pizza offers. But how long can it stay in the freezer?

Frozen pizzas can last for 5 to 12 months in the freezer, depending on the brand. They are also safe to eat even if they go past their expiration or Best By dates.

Proper storage and cooking are crucial. The longer a pizza is frozen, the more its quality will change.

If you’re wondering how a Best By date is different from a Best Before date, how long a frozen pizza will last after these dates, and more, read on!

How Long is a Frozen Pizza Usually Good For in the Freezer?

According to Mel Magazine, frozen pizzas can last from 5 months up to 1 year, depending on the brand (source: Mel Magazine). 

The correct temperature in the freezer should be 0° F (-18° C). If you are unsure of your freezer’s temperature, you can get an appliance thermometer.

frozen pizzas in a freezer in a supermarket

The quality of most frozen foods will deteriorate the longer the food stays in the freezer. Color and flavor are some of the attributes that could be affected.

Commercial foods like frozen pizzas should be frozen and cooked according to package instructions to guarantee safety (source: FDA).

Do Frozen Pizzas Expire or Go Bad in the Freezer?

Like any frozen commercial food, frozen pizzas also expire. Different frozen pizza brands have different date labeling. Some common labels include “Best By,” “Best if Used Before,” or “Enjoy By.”

Here are some of the most common dating labels according to the USDA and their meanings:

Best if Used By/Best if Used Before-Tells up to when the food will have the best quality
-Not a safety or purchase date
Sell By-Informs stores or sellers how long they should display the food for sale for inventory purposes
-Not a safety date
Use By-This is the last date recommended to use the product for the highest food quality 
-Not a safety date except when used in infant formulas
Freeze By-Tells when food should be frozen to maintain its quality
-Not a safety or purchase date

The Food Safety and Instructions Service recommends using the “Best if Used By” label because according to research, it makes it clear to consumers that the food will be top-quality if used or consumed by the date indicated. 

Food that has no signs of spoilage can still be bought, sold, donated, or consumed after the “Best if Used By” date (source: USDA). Note that the quality of the food may no longer be at its peak.

woman with disgusted face after eating frozen pizza with bad taste

How Can You Tell if a Frozen Pizza is Bad?

Frozen pizzas are made to be stored for long periods. However, air exposure and handling can change their flavor and overall quality (source: University of Minnesota Extension).

Two types of bacteria can contaminate frozen foods: spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. 

Spoilage bacteria cause the food to spoil and change the taste, color, or odor of the food. Pathogenic bacteria cause foodborne illnesses without changing the taste, color, or smell of the food (source: USDA).

Pathogenic bacteria are uncommon in frozen foods, because freezing and cooking are effective against harmful microbes. Spoilage microbes, however, can survive in the freezer.

Psychrophilic microbes, the most common type of spoilage organisms, love to grow in cold temperatures. They can grow in the freezer or during thawing (source: Science Direct). 

Psychrophilic bacteria thrive in temperatures 68 °F (20 °C), optimally grow at 59 °F (15 °C), and can still grow at 32 °F (0 °C) (source: Science Direct).

Generally, you can tell if a frozen pizza has gone bad if it is slimy or has discolorations, a foul smell, or a crumbly texture.

Frozen pizzas contain additives and preservatives that help retain the color of the pizza. If your pizza has been in the freezer for a long period of time, it’s totally normal for it to look dull. 

instant korean frozen pizza full of toppings

One unmistakable sign that it has gone bad is if it has turned dark, gray, green, or other colors that the pizza shouldn’t be (source: Foods Guy).

Green and gray usually indicate mold. Molds can grow on salty processed meats, which frozen pizzas often have. It would be best to throw the entire pizza out (source: USDA).

Additionally, if your frozen pizza smells off, this is a good indicator that it has spoiled.

Another sign of a frozen pizza that might have gone bad is when it easily crumbles. If the crust easily crumbles or disintegrates when you hold it, the pizza has exceeded its shelf life.

A crumbly pizza might have not much flavor anymore, or it might taste bad, so it’s best to throw it out (source: Foods Guy).

Slimy and sticky frozen pizza toppings could also indicate that it is either spoiled or contaminated. Your safest bet is to throw it in the trash (source: Michigan State University).

If any of these red flags are present, then you don’t need to taste the pizza to know if it has spoiled or not.

How Long do Frozen Pizzas Last After Expiration? 

There is no exact time duration for this, but frozen pizzas that go past the “Best if Used By” date can still be eaten, bought, sold, and donated as long they show no signs of spoilage (source: USDA).

frozen pizza with cheese toppings in a box

Can You Eat Frozen Pizzas Past the Expiration Date or Will it Make You Sick?

It is safe to consume frozen food that has gone past its expiry date (source: USDA). If the frozen pizza is frozen properly, baked at the suggested temperature, and free of any signs of spoilage discussed above, it is safe to eat (source: FDA).

Can Frozen Pizzas Get Freezer Burn? 

Frozen pizzas can get freezer burn because of the presence of water vapor (source: University of Minnesota Extension).

To prevent freezer burn, you can use an airtight container to help seal the frozen pizza, or you can consume the frozen pizza within a few weeks to prevent it from staying in the freezer for too long. 

Remember that pizza with freezer burn doesn’t mean the pizza is unsafe for consumption. It only means that its quality has been affected (source: FDA).

In summary, frozen pizza can last quite some time when it is stored properly. Just look out for unnatural smells or flavors, and follow the recommended storage and baking instructions. Hope this helps!