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A pizza saver, box tent, pizza table or package saver is a device used to prevent the top of a food container, such as a pizza box or cake box, from collapsing in at the center and touching the food inside.
A pizza saver is made of plastic and has three (sometimes four) legs. They are often white, and the common practice is to place one pizza saver in the center of the pizza before the box lid is closed for delivery. The pizza saver is not re-used and is typically discarded by the patron, although some people have found secondary uses for them such as egg holders when turned upside down.
In 1985, Carmela Vitale of Dix Hills, New York, was issued a patent for a plastic 3-legged tripod stool that would sit in the middle of the box and keep the top from sagging into pizza, cakes or other foods kept in a box. Vitale called her invention a "package saver" and used that term also as the title of her patent, but it has since been renamed the "pizza saver" since that has become its most common use. The patent (#4,498,586) was filed on February 10, 1983, and issued on February 12, 1985.
Variations on the device have since been invented by other people, such as a disposable plastic spatula whose handle holds the box top up; and a plastic tripod, like the design by Vitale, but with one of the legs serrated like a knife, making for easy cutting of stuck cheese and bread.
In 'John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme', he honours Carmela's achievement with a song devoted to her.