Fruits and vegetables are best consumed when they are fresh. The sad part is that they don’t last as long as we want them to.
We sometimes forget them and think they can be used after a while, but we are wrong. Our plans may be ruined as we find those green vegetables already getting rotten.
The same goes for lettuce. This fully leaf green vegetable can last up to two hours at room temperature.
For this purpose, we are looking for a better way to store the lettuce so it can last longer. Also, if you use the lettuce in a salad or a sandwich, you need to keep that.
So, what is the best way to do it?
Storing the lettuce in the fridge is the best way to prolong the freshness of the lettuce. Keep the lettuce properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator so you can have more than one use from the lettuce.
For those purposes, we gathered more information on storing the lettuce, washing it properly, and even holding it in the freezer for an extended period.
Lettuce can rot quickly, so below are some tips on spotting the rotten leaves easier and when it’s time to throw them away and buy a fresh one from the store.
Does Lettuce Need To Be Refrigerated?
The answer to our main question for the article is that lettuce needs to be refrigerated to last longer!
If you bought more lettuce than you need for your salad or sandwich, you need somewhere to place it and use it again.
Keeping it in the fridge expands the shelf life of the lettuce.
It’s not hard to notice when the lettuce has gone wrong, or some of the leaves are rotten. You can throw them out and use the rest of the lettuce for your following salad recipe.
Now that we know to extend the life of the lettuce is to place it in the fridge because if you leave it at room temperature, the lettuce can last up to 2 hours.
And once again, everything depends on the type of lettuce and how fresh it is before you buy it from the store.
If you leave it, you increase the chance of bacteria growth that can cause food poisoning. If you plan to put lettuce in your sandwich, you have to place it somewhere colder so it won’t spoil and ruin your sandwich.
Moreover, a guide below will help you properly store the lettuce and keep it longer.
How To Properly Wash Lettuce?
Before you use the lettuce, of course, you have to clean it up. However, it’s not that simple, rinse off with water and then put it to use. There is more that you need to be aware of.
A lot of dirt, bugs, and pesticides must be removed before consumption, so it’s always a good idea to wash the lettuce immediately or whenever you are ready to use it.
First of all, remove the leaves that are damaged and slimy. Rinse the lettuce under water and ensure that each leaf is cleaned correctly and there is no dirt.
Use a paper towel to remove the excess water. You can also try cleaning leaf by leaf to ensure no dirt or bug is left behind.
You can also find pre-washed lettuce, but it is recommended to take another look and rewash it, to be on the safe side in case nothing is left behind.
Guide On How To Store Properly
According to the Food Safety guidelines, there are some rules that we need to follow before storing the product. The guidelines teach us that we need to:
- You need to leave the vegetable under running water
- Rinse, peel and cut off the damaged parts before serving
- Dry and the veggie is reasonable to proceed.
In this case, the lettuce is a bit tricky to store. A little moisture can make the leaves soggy, and the crispiness will disappear.
There are a few ways that you can keep the lettuce fresh for a bit longer.
Store Washed Lettuce Leaves
Firstly, you can try to store the lettuce by placing each leaf. First, you need to wash each leaf accordingly. Your next step is to dry them out nicely to avoid excess water entering.
Place them all in an airtight container. This way, you can prevent creating bacteria and allow the air to flow as it should. An essential tip here is to keep the bag’s corner open so you can leave proper flow.
Store the Head of the Lettuce
Your second option is to store the entire head of the lettuce. Rinse under water, and wrap the head of the lettuce in a towel. Place the covered full charge in the plastic bag and store it in the fridge.
Extra tip: make sure to remove the paper towel daily and replace it with a new one.
This way, you will avoid the lettuce from wilting. The head has a longer shelf life in the fridge. It can take up to a few weeks until the head of the lettuce turns terrible. Make sure that it’s properly stored to keep it longer.
Keep the lettuce away from fruits like pears, avocados, apples, and tomatoes. They release gas as they ripen and may cause an issue.
There is no particular answer on the life period of lettuce when placed in the fridge. Everything depends on how you store it and what type of lettuce.
You can keep the lettuce for 7-10 days in the fridge. As previously mentioned, the whole head of lettuce can last up longer, even up to three weeks.
How to Store The Lettuce in The Freezer?
Besides keeping the lettuce in the fridge, you have another option to store the lettuce in the freezer. You can also consider this option if you want to keep this green veggie for even a more extended period.
In this case, you need to know that the crispiness may be lost. Therefore, if you plan on using the defrosted version of lettuce, it is best to add it to soups, stews, or smoothies.
You have two ways of freezing the lettuce.
Store the Lettuce Leaves
One way is to separate the leaves and rinse them with water. Afterward, remove the excess water from the leaves and place them in an airtight freezer bag. Your lettuce leaves are suitable to be stored and used another time.
Puree and Freeze the Cubes
The second option is to puree the lettuce and freeze its cubes. You can use the cubes whenever in soups, stews, or smoothies.
How To Tell if Lettuce Has Spoiled?
It’s not hard to tell that the lettuce is not fresh anymore and has gone bad. If your lettuce has brown and slimy leaves, it’s spoiled. There’s also a smell that’s easily noticeable.
In this case, remove the wrong parts of the lettuce and use the good ones. Also, eat it as soon as possible to avoid throwing the whole lettuce away.
Does Lettuce Need To Be Stored in The Fridge?
It is recommended to store the lettuce in the fridge. You can place it in the fridge drawer to maintain the ideal humidity and air circulation.
How Long Does Lettuce Last Out Of The Fridge?
Lettuce can last up to two hours if not stored properly and left out of the fridge. The bacteria grows so fast at room temperature, leaving the lettuce terrible and unsuitable for further use.
How Long Can Bagged Lettuce Sit Out?
Bagged lettuce can last for 2 hours maximum out in the open. After about 2 hours, there’s a risk for bacteria growth.
Does Iceberg Lettuce Need To Be Refrigerated?
You can refrigerate the iceberg to increase the shelf life. Put your iceberg lettuce in a plastic bag and don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it.
Can Lettuce Be Left Out Overnight?
Lettuce can’t be left out overnight because it will turn rancid. Moreover, if you leave your lettuce out overnight, you risk bacteria growth.