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Can You Get Food Poisoning From Pizza

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Pizza? Safety Insights

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Lori Walker

Imagine a Friday evening spent with good company, the sound of merriment and joy surrounding you as you indulge in a scrumptious pizza. We can all relate to this scenario, but on one occasion, my pizza night took an unexpected and unfortunate twist.

It got me thinking: can something as beloved as pizza really make you sick? Can you get food poisoning from pizza? Let’s find out.

Can Pizza Cause Food Poisoning?

Man Eating Pizza

While pizza is generally safe to eat, it’s not immune to the risk of foodborne illnesses. Food poisoning [1] can arise from mishandling ingredients, inadequate cooking, or improper storage. 

Raw toppings like undercooked meat can harbor harmful bacteria, and cross-contamination during preparation is a concern. 

“And I don’t cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza.”

– Tiger Woods, American Professional Golfer

To reduce the risk, it’s crucial to ensure all ingredients are cooked thoroughly, practice good hygiene, and store leftovers promptly in the refrigerator. 

While the chances of getting food poisoning from pizza are relatively low, responsible food handling practices are the key to enjoying this favorite dish without worry.

What Are The Common Causes Of Pizza-Related Food Poisoning?

  1. Undercooked Toppings: Ingredients like raw or undercooked meat, such as chicken or sausage, can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, which may lead to foodborne illnesses when not cooked thoroughly.
  2. Cross-Contamination: Using the same cutting boards, knives, or utensils for raw meat and pizza ingredients can transfer pathogens from one to the other, increasing the risk of contamination.
  3. Inadequate Food Handling: Poor hygiene practices, such as not washing hands properly or handling ingredients without gloves, can introduce harmful bacteria to the pizza.
  4. Temperature Danger Zone: Keeping pizza at temperatures between 40°F (4°C) and 140°F (60°C) for too long can create an environment where bacteria multiply rapidly, potentially leading to food poisoning when consumed.
  5. Improper Storage: Failing to store pizza leftovers in the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C) promptly can allow bacteria to grow and increase the risk of foodborne illness.

Find out how you can tell if the pizza dough is bad here.

Can I Reheat Pizza Safely?

Yes, you can safely reheat pizza, but it’s essential to do it correctly to maintain its taste and ensure it’s safe to eat. Reheat pizza using an oven, stovetop, toaster oven, or microwave. 

The key is to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria. The oven or toaster oven is ideal for achieving that crispy crust, while the microwave is faster but may result in a softer crust. 

To reheat in the microwave, place a microwave-safe container with a small cup of water beside the pizza to prevent it from becoming too dry. 

Reheating times vary based on your method and the thickness of the pizza, so keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking. Properly reheated pizza is not only safe but also delicious.

But how can you reheat pizza in the toaster oven?

Is Pizza From Reputable Establishments Safe?

4 whole pizza

Yes, pizza from reputable establishments is generally safe to consume. Restaurants and pizzerias are subject to strict food safety regulations and inspections to meet hygiene standards. 

Reputable establishments prioritize the safety of their customers by using fresh ingredients, practicing proper food handling and storage techniques, and maintaining clean kitchens. 

“Even a favorite like pizza has its rules; neglect them, and it might not be the slice of happiness you hoped for.”

– Leonelli Bakery

While the risk of foodborne illness is low when dining at these establishments, choosing places with a reputation for high food safety standards and a quick turnover of ingredients for even fresher pizzas is always a good practice.

Also Read: What Makes My Pizza Dough Tear?

What Are The Signs Of Food Poisoning?

  1. Nausea: Feeling an urge to vomit.
  2. Vomiting: The act of forcefully expelling stomach contents.
  3. Diarrhea: Frequent, loose, or watery bowel movements.
  4. Abdominal Pain: Cramps or discomfort in the stomach area.
  5. Fever: An elevated body temperature often accompanies food poisoning.
  6. Muscle Aches: General body discomfort and muscle pain.
  7. Fatigue: Feeling excessively tired or weak.
  8. Headache: Pain or discomfort in the head.
  9. Loss of Appetite: Not feeling like eating.
  10. Dehydration: A result of vomiting and diarrhea [2], characterized by dry mouth, dark urine, and feeling extremely thirsty.

FAQs

How can I reheat pizza without it becoming soggy?

To reheat pizza without it becoming soggy, use an oven or a toaster oven for crispy results.

Preheat to 375°F (190°C), place the pizza directly on the oven rack or a hot pizza stone, and bake for a few minutes until it’s heated through and the crust is crispy. Please avoid using the microwave, which can make it soggy.

But how long will pizza sit out before it gets bad?

How long does it take to get sick after eating bad pizza?

Symptoms of food poisoning from bad pizza can appear within a few hours to several days after consumption, depending on the type of bacteria or pathogens involved.

Commonly, symptoms appear within 6 to 24 hours, but some cases may take longer, even up to 72 hours, to manifest.

If you suspect food poisoning, monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if they worsen or persist.

Key Takeaways

While pizza is generally considered a safe and delicious meal, it is not immune to the risk of food poisoning. 

The potential for foodborne illnesses arises from undercooked toppings, cross-contamination, inadequate food handling, and improper storage. 

However, you can significantly minimize the risk of food poisoning from pizza by following safe food practices, including thorough cooking, good hygiene, proper storage, and safe reheating techniques. 

Enjoying your favorite slice responsibly ensures a safe and delightful pizza experience.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4108-diarrhea
Lori Walker

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