washing roamine lettuce

We use romaine lettuce for our salads. we get it in bulk unwashed. we wash it then chop it up, we then place it in the prep table and put the unused portions in the walk in. however we have a problem keeping it fresh. I just found out about a product from Eco-lab that you put in water and then dunk the lettuce into it. I think it’s makes something call victory water(not sure about the name.) Has anyone heard of this before and if you have what does the dunking do for the lettuce? Thank you in advance for your help.

When I was in High School I worked at Wendys and we had a salad bar. When we cut the lettuce we put in a plastic trash can full of water and kept in the walk-in. it never wilted. we didn’t add anything else to it. then when we needed lettuce we had a seive that we dipped into the lettuce and let it drain. didn’t really answer your question but maybe this will help

Romaine doesn’t stand up to shocking as well as iceberg. It’s a lot better for salads in many ways, as you’ve obviously figured out. Putting it into water as suggested will only make it soggy; it won’t crisp it.

About the only thing I’ve found to work with romaine is rinse it (yes, in ice water as if it were shocking) but don’t let it sit in the water. Get dried as quickly as possible. Also, tearing it as opposed to cutting with a knife will help it keep. I’ve heard various explanations as to why, don’t really believe any of them, but it seems to work. Probably you’ll just have to do it more frequently, and smaller amounts at a time.


I have not personally used the EcoLab product (Victory Fruit and Vegetable Wash), but I do know a little about it. The product contains several antimicrobial agents which kill the majority of spoilage causing microbes when applied to the produce through spraying or soaking. That should increase the shelf life of your lettuce as long as you are drying it and storing it properly. I assume it would also be effective against disease causing microbes that may be present as well.

There is a product out there called a salad spinner that is used to dry the water from lettuce once it had been shocked or stored in water. After you cut it, the extra water remaining on the lettuce will cause it to spoil faster.

Here are a few I found online:
http://www.instawares.com/Professional- … 27.0.7.htm
http://www.suitesupply.com/Professional … 027.01.htm

Here are some tips on Romaine lettuce.

Buying it in bulk, trimming the outer leaves and washing it is a waste of time and labor.

Purchase Romaine hearts that come ready to use. There’s no waste or washing.

The outer leaves of the Romaine heads spoil much quicker than the hearts. You are paying for the weight of the entire head—how much of that do you have to trim because of spoilage. Also, the tough outer leaves are not suitable for salad

Cutting Romaine with a knife hastens browning where the cut is made. Hand ripping or tearing the leaves has the longest shelf life. If you insist on cuttng, make sure you only cut enough for a 24 hour period, or browning will occur.

Pre-washed, ready to use hearts of Romaine have a much longer shelf life than bulk because they do not have the outer green leaves with the larger ribs that spoil the head sooner. (I’m talking about the outer tough green leaves of the head, not the tender green leaves underneath the outer ones.

The care of ready to use Romaine is simple; remove the heads from their box, place them stem side down in a large plastic bin and cover the heads with a damp cloth–or, if they come packed in plastic–they can stay in the plastic bag within the case.

Excess moisture is the enemy of Romaine, it should not be wet. You certainly don’t want to keep it in water.

Ready to use hearts of Romaine are commonly available through your produce distributor. Since the huge popularity of Caesar salads has become a staple in food service, this product has become the standard.

Yes, it is more expensive than buying bulk, but once spoilage, labor and the preservative you are considering is added in, ready to use is far more cost effective.

The best thing to do is cut the lettuce, then put it in a bucket add salt (salt will kill all the little bugs and everything else). mix it, let it sit for about ten minutes and then take the lettuce and put it in a strainer rinse it, let it dry. best thing to do is let it dry for a few minutes and dry it on a lettuce spiner. always works for me. keeps the lettuce crispy and it wont get brown right away

tearing the lettuce will prolong the life… if u use a knife… cut up enuf for the day… if you tear, you can get an extra day out of it.

many companies like Sysco and the better produce companies have processed romaine that has excellent shelf life…you might pay a bit more, but no labor, little waste and 100% usage - nor core/outer leaves etc.

If you choose to process your own there are several commercial products you can rinse/dip

I used to put several scoops of ice into a plugged sink & run enough hot water to just barely melt 90% of the ice…

I also put a small portion of food safe bleach/chlorine into the water…toss in the chopped romaine…let the water drain & place into a 6" deep pan w/a false bottom to keep the lettuce above another water…

The processed romaine is great. It is 95% easier then buying a case of dirty lettuce. It also settles my blood pressure, knowing that an employee can’t screw it up :slight_smile: If unhandled lettuce, isn’t washed properly, somebody could get a mouthful of dirt or who knows what… I’v seen some pretty ugly lettuce.

However, you are sacrificing quality, and foodcost… But after switching to bagged lettuce, I’ll never go back to doing the prior.

And like I said before in another post … My salad sales are really high, so people must like this lettuce!