Food Poisoning From Frozen Pizza (Read This First)

Last updated on September 11th, 2023 at 02:10 pm

Frozen pizza is a go-to option for many people that want to get a pizza in a hurry. The wait after placing a pizza order is never fun.

But the joy after you get your goody and consume is most times worth the wait. Then again, most pizzerias do not offer 24-hour food delivery. Or do they?

The best you get most times is delivery up until midnight on some days.

So, what happens when you crave pizza late at night? Well, frozen pizza to the rescue! Since the 50s, frozen pizza has served as a backup for fresh pizza.

The idea was to find a way to freeze pizza for later use. It seemed like a breakthrough at the time. But no processed food is ever the same as the fresh kind.

It may feel or taste the same, but there is usually a health implication.

You risk food poisoning when you eat frozen pizza. It is down to bacteria that build up during storage. Undercooked frozen pizza is the likely culprit for food poisoning. Frozen pizza needs cooking at specified heat and time ranges. But often, people rush the cooking process to please their taste buds quickly.

What Is Food Poisoning from Frozen Pizza?

Food Poisoning from Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza food poisoning is when you get sick after eating delicious frozen pizza. Vomiting and diarrhea are the common food poisoning symptoms.

The leading cause of food poisoning? Bacteria latch onto the pizza during storage and survive the heat during cooking. 

The presence of bacteria is down to poor cooking of the frozen pizza. Many people get it wrong when getting frozen pizza together.

That is a grave health risk. Every food has a temperature range that tallies with proper cooking. However, there is a flip side when you either undercook or overcook food. 

So, food experts suggest standard temperatures to cook different types of food. For example, the advised temperature for frozen pizza is at least 160 Fahrenheit.

Then, the cooking should last about 15 to 25 minutes. But the time depends on the pizza size and how many toppings you have.

Escherichia coli, E. coli (its cool name), or salmonella cannot survive at 160 Fahrenheit. So those bacteria are your culprits when you suffer a bout of food poisoning.

Cooking frozen pizza at lower temperatures for lengthy periods also kills bacteria. 

So, the secret is patience. But not everyone can hold back the fiery saliva fountain in their mouths with the pizza aroma up in the air.

They burst into action by the mere thought of tasty dough and toppings on your tongue.

To avoid food poisoning from pizza, cook it at the right temperature.

For a good number of minutes, too. That helps rid your food of any bacteria that will cause food poisoning.

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Frozen Pizza?

Yes, you risk food poisoning from frozen pizza. It happens when bacteria remain on the pizza even after you cook it. But, not all bacteria are harmful to humans.

So, you only need to watch out for those that can cause food poisoning. Bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

The first factor that allows the growth of bacteria on frozen pizza is storage. You must ensure to store frozen pizza at 0°F and keep it at that temperature.

Bacteria survive freezing conditions, but 0°F is a dead zone for most of them.

Storing frozen pizza at 0°F stops the growth of bacteria. That helps to keep its nutrients and shelf life intact. The shelf life of frozen pizza is about 12 to 18 months.

It is ridiculous, but it holds when you store frozen pizza well. 

Also, the pack of the frozen pizza must remain intact during storage. Otherwise, the pizza will become prone to bacteria in the air and other foods in the freezer. As a result, its shelf life takes a beating.

The risk of frozen pizza food poisoning is also down to the cooking process. If you do not cook it well, you may get a bout of diarrhea.

That is a very red zone. Do not step into that light (or the dark) in this case. Make sure to cook your frozen pizza at 160°F for 15 to 25 minutes to kill bacteria.

You have less risk of food poisoning when your pizza is fresh and cooked well.

Food Poisoning from Undercooked Frozen Pizza?

It matters a lot when you cook frozen pizza at the right temperature. Also, it will not cook well when you rush through the cooking process.

The advised temperature and time are 160°F and 15 to 25 minutes, respectively. But, the cooking process depends more on time than temperature.

You kill harmful bacteria when you prepare the pizza at lower temperatures for a long time.

It does not work if you cook the pizza at the right temperature for only a few minutes. You will get the taste of pizza that you crave, but at a cost – your health.

But, it is worse to cook the pizza for 15 to 25 minutes at a low temperature. 

You have to find the middle ground for a well-cooked pizza. The heat should not be too high or low. The time you take to cook should be within the advised range.

That is the remedy for undercooked frozen pizza.

How Long Does It Take to Get Food Poisoning from Pizza?

Usually, you begin to feel food poisoning symptoms within one or two days after you eat frozen pizza.

The effect does not take long to kick and is quite instant. Typical food poisoning symptoms include;

#1. Abdominal Pain and Stomach Cramps

You may feel a tightness around your trunk area. It happens due to irritated stomach and intestines linings.

#2. Diarrhea

Sometimes it contains blood or mucus. You may feel an increased need to use the restroom.

#3. Chills

You get chills when your body shivers and causes your temperature to rise.

#4. Fever

You may run high temperatures when your immune system detects an infection.

#5. Headaches

Headaches are a common symptom. That is because food poisoning makes you fatigued hence the headache.

#6. Loss of Appetite

You lose appetite when your immune system responds to fight the infection from food. In addition, the immune system gives the sensation of illness so that immune cells can work to heal the body.

#7. Loss of Energy and Bodily Weakness

A loss of appetite can trigger this sensation. Feeling weak can also help your body rest, then the immune cells can work around the infection.

#8. Muscle Aches

Muscle aches are likely when you get food poisoning. It happens as a result of increased blood flow.

You may also suffer inflammation because your immune system widens your blood vessels. That it is so more white blood cells can get through to fight the infection.

#9. Nausea

Nausea is a clear sign that your body system is not in sync with something you ate. When you get food poisoning, you may be nauseous one to eight hours after you eat.

#10. Vomiting

Vomiting is a defense measure the human body uses to fight harmful toxins. For example, food poisoning can lead to forceful vomiting.

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Plain Pizza?

Food poisoning from pizza can also come from the plain variant. It happens for reasons like frozen pizza – poor handling, storage, and cooking.

Besides poor cooking, you can get food poisoning from pizza when the shelf life runs out. 

Plain pizza has a shorter life span compared to frozen pizza. That is because there is not much thought put into its preservation.

The regular line of action is to consume plain pizza within a day or two. Do not store it for weeks.

Pizza can get a bacterial infection when staff at a pizza store do not handle the pizza dough well. Bacterial infection is most likely during the mixing and storing of the dough.

It is unavoidable when staff does not keep proper sanitary measures. Also, during storage, if the dough stays for long in poor conditions, it would come up with bacteria growth.

Also, the pizza will have bacteria if the cooking process does not have enough heat. So plain pizza, like its frozen party, can cause food poisoning.


Food poisoning is likely when you eat frozen pizza. You can get it from undercooked frozen pizza or when the pizza overstays its shelf life.

Cooking frozen pizza well goes a long way in reducing the risk of food poisoning. Always ensure to cook your pizza at 160°F for 15 to 25 minutes.

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