lettuce storage

what is the proper temp to store shreaded sealed in a bag lettuce ? ive been keeping it my walk in cooler at 34 degrees its not lasting and its real wet and turning brown any help would be great

I had the same problem and it was my supplier. They use some sort of preservative and if they use too much it makes the lettuce smell really bad ( like the preservative) and gets really wet in a short period of time. Talk to them and make sure they are shredding it same day you are getting it. The preservative is fine as long as there is not too much.

Also 34 degrees might be too cold for the lettuce> We sometimes keep lettuce in a styrofoam cooler ( cover off) in the middel of the cooler to keep it isulated.

We used to have the same problem, so this is what we did: Forget the pre-cut packaged stuff! We now order heads of romaine( by the 1/2 case) It is easy to cut. After cutting, we put it in a container and fill with cold water. It will last for days if you need it too. You can also squeeze 1/2 a lemon into the water to keep it from browning. The key is to buy a salad spinner, it is a great invention!

I was going to post the same thing as Cali Pie. Forget about the prepackaged stuff. We tried it and by the 3rd day it always looked awful, even if the bag wasn’t opened.

Chopping your own is very fast and you’ll more than make up the labor cost with the difference in product price. The lettuce will stay nice and fresh for a long time.

thanks guys have a salad spinner already . ordered whole heads today ,on ebay right now ordering chopper. thanks for the info :smiley:

salad spinner is indeed required…after you cut your lettuce, briefly soak it in ICE H20 & a minimal amount of bleach (drops, not capfuls) the spin…store in lexan pans w/drip tray, not plastic bags

The place I used to work at would precut all of the lettuce and place in a tub (aka: saucebucket) of ice water with some salt and put on the lid…next 2 days, was still nice and green if not used.

Of course, rinse before putting the greens on the bar so it won’t taste salty.

“Bleach”? Why?

so it won’t brown as quickly…safer than other oxidents & still legal…(sanitizer)

Man, I don’t know about that. I have not found a reliable source that advocates bleach on vegetables. Most water has chlorine in it already.

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/lettsup.pdf
Commodity Specific Food Safety
Guidelines for the Lettuce and
Leafy Greens Supply Chain

Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh vegetables. These products are not intended for
consumption.

http://ceplacer.ucdavis.edu/newsletterf … e10112.pdf
University of California
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh vegetables. These products are not intended for consumption.

For sanitation, it seems more important that the bucket, employee hands, and work surfaces (including vegetable sink), be sanitized as to not introduce cross-contamination.
http://www.dhs.ca.gov/fdb/local/PDF/Fre … %20web.pdf

For reducing browning, I have no idea if it works any better than these plastic knives that are advertised to do the same thing.

But sanitizer has to be completey evaporated (via air drying only) before you can use the surfaces it sanitized. Bleach is highly toxic, which is why it’s used as a sanitizer. I wouldn’t put it in anything you’re serving.

If you need an additive for the water to prevent browning, try acidulation. Add a touch of lemon or pineapple juice to the water. Since you are spinning off the liquid anyway, any taste should be minimal, and you get a natural anti-oxidant to prevent browning . . . like with apples.

a few drops of bleach in several gallons of H20…

"To address the lettuce and E.coli problem, Frank studied how and where E. coli cells survive on lettuce leaves.

“Lettuce breathes through stomata or holes on the leaves,” he said. “The E. coli cells attach to the surface around and inside these holes.”

E. coli Likes Cut Edges and Bruises

He also found E. coli cells favor the cut edges of lettuce. “The edges of cut lettuce pieces had tremendous numbers of attached E. coli cells,” he said. “The bruised areas did, too.”

In the lab, washing the lettuce with a bleach solution was found effective for removing the E. coli cells on the lettuce surface.

“The solution removes or kills the cells on the surface of the lettuce, but those inside the holes still survive,” Frank said.

UGA food scientists are working with the food industry to apply this chlorine method. But Frank warns consumers not to try it at home.

“Chlorine bleach is much too strong to be used at home for rinsing vegetables,” he said. “Consumers shouldn’t use chlorine to rinse vegetables at home.” http://www.ugacfs.org/hottopics/lettuce.html

hydroponic lettuce farms use a 10% bleach solution in growing the product…

Dole uses 50ppm in their 2nd wash of processed lettuce…

if your going to use pre shredded lettuce, lower your par and get it fresh daily, your produce vendor should be more than happy to deliver daily, if not than find another vendor. we chop/shred our romaine ourselves daily, after it is chopped it is rinsed in a mixture of cold water and stayfresh antioxidant. then spun until dry, and put into lettuce king dispenser tubs and stored in the walk in that stays 38-42 degrees. 34 degrees is to cold for fresh veggie storage, due to the fact that if that cooler maintains 34 degrees during business hours when doors are opened and closed alot, overnight temps almost deffinitly reach 32 degrees, which means your veggies are going to frost, then melt causing wilting/bruising. we have this problem alot in the winter up here, cant store fresh veggies within 6 inches of exterior walk in walls.

as for the bleach method, ive heard of it in various food safety courses, but for me its just too easy to make a mistake,esp when dealing with untrained cooks who tend to cut corners when rushed. also consult your local health inspector and see if it is even legal in your area, i know our health inspector would string me up for even mentioning it.

sheb