Here's Why You Absolutely Need To Refrigerate Costco Pie

Costco is famous for its bulk buys, affordable prices, and oversized portion sizes (hello, 44-count box of cookies!). One popular Costco find that fits into the latter category are its pies. Made fresh at the in-house bakery, they're big sellers during the holiday season. In fact, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that sales of Costco pumpkin pies topped 6.1 million in 2019.

Maybe you already ordered a Costco pie for the upcoming holiday or maybe you plan to snag one at the last minute. Regardless, if there's a pie from the Costco bakery in your future, you might be wondering whether or not you need to refrigerate it. After all, when you're hosting a party that lasts all evening, you might be tempted to let the pie sit out on the counter for hours on end as guests nibble on it. Unfortunately, that may not be the safest decision. Here's why you should refrigerate Costco pies.

You don't want it to go bad

One aspect of Costco pumpkin pies that may be a highlight for some shoppers is that the desserts are completely preservative-free, as People magazine notes. However, this means they won't last as long as other treats — and you definitely need to refrigerate them. "Egg-rich pies such as pecan, pumpkin, lemon meringue, and custard must be kept refrigerated," the U.S. Department of Agriculture explains on its website, adding that these pies, when stored properly in the fridge, should last three to four days. A Costco employee on Reddit confirmed that because the custard and pumpkin pies include milk and eggs, they're kept refrigerated in the store, too.

Pro tip: If you don't plan on finishing your pie before the suggested use-by date — we get it, they're big enough to feed a crowd! — the blogger at Costcuisine says that the pumpkin pie freezes well. She recommends slicing it first and freezing the individual slices to make it easier to thaw them out. Now you won't have to worry about spoiled pie.