Clicky Skip to Content

Can You Eat Brown Lettuce

Can You Eat Brown Lettuce

Can You Eat Brown Lettuce

Yes. Although the dark leaf spots or ribs on lettuce may be unsightly, they do not render the lettuce unfit for consumption. It’s not a health problem, and it doesn’t suggest that nutrients are being lost. However, most consumers find brown lettuce to be unsightly and will wish to remove the tainted portions.

It is completely safe to eat, because browning of the lettuce, or the brown spots, can occur from it being stored at high temperatures, and not spoilage. A: Brown spots on lettuce may be cosmetically undesirable, but it does not make the lettuce unsafe to eat. Brown spots on lettuce lettuce are not dangerous to eat, but they can be an indication that lettuce has been contaminated by fecal matter.

By the way, if you’re interested in Does Brown Sugar Go Bad, check out my article on that.

Brown spots on lettuce indicate that cells were weakened, making lettuce like the one in the photo above slightly more friendly to whatever pathogen happened to be in its vicinity. As the A-brown spots on lettuce grow, lettuce will wrinkle, soon becoming limp and discolored, often affecting the whole head. When darker spots in the places of those colors occur on more than one leaf, you have lettuce that is going to die.

StorageShelf life
In refrigerator7-10 days
At room temperature2 hours
Storage and Shelf life of Lettuce.

It is worth taking notice if your lettuce is turning pink, as this is a sign it is getting worse. To know if your lettuce has gone bad, look for brown or black spots on the leaves, which indicates it has started to decay. If brown or black spots on lettuce are accompanied by a weird smell or texture, leading you to believe the problem is more than just brown spots, then you are better off throwing that lettuce away than eating it.

Watch this video to learn about the health effects of eating rusty brown spotted Lettuce

Fresh lettuce typically has almost no smell, so if it has an unpleasant smell or is pungent, it is best to toss out. It is not recommended to eat lettuce that shows any visible signs of spoilage, including withering and excess browning. There is no definitive link between older lettuce and food poisoning, but avoid eating lettuce that is spongy, smelly, or has passed its shelf life. Wet lettuce is spongy – eating expired produce makes you sick. That is why it is important to wash your lettuce thoroughly after buying it at the grocery store.

If you do wash lettuce when bringing it home, use towels or a salad spinner, and be sure to dry it thoroughly. Yes, iceberg lettuce needs to be washed before using because it may still have a bit of soil on it. When one does not wash iceberg lettuce, soil remains on the leaves and acts as a ruining component when added to the meal.

To prevent turning, thoroughly wash the lettuce in cold running water and remove all the dirt and debris. You can wash all you want, but you cannot get rid of all of the foodborne pathogens in the leaves of the lettuce, as some are hidden in the plants tissues.

To learn about Does Sugar Go Bad check out my article where I cover everything you need to know.

Several culture problems in your garden can cause lettuce leaves to turn brown, particularly around the edges of the leaves. Berkeley Wellness explains lettuce leaves may become brown after being scuffed or trimmed, as air exposure causes oxidation. Another cause of lettuce browning is tipburn, typically associated with fast growing or soil water stress, according to the UC statewide program for integrated pest management.

The lettuce roots turn red from oxidation, with chlorophyll being destroyed. The red color of the roots or edges of lettuce indicates oxidation of the iron, and lettuces like this are not cool for eating. The russet spot process turns the green lettuce to a brown color when exposed to ethylene, a gas released from plants.

Russet spotting may occur in a delivery truck, if, for instance, your lettuce is packed close to an ethylene gas emitter. You can lower your risk of russet spotting by keeping produce that releases ethylene, such as apples, bananas, and avocados, far from your lettuce. Research has found that iceberg lettuce produces more ethylene once bruised or cut, making it more susceptible to russet spotting anyway. Keep lettuce out of contact with other vegetables and fruits, as these may produce an odor which affects your lettuces flavor.

There is no doubt lettuce holds better in the refrigerator when kept totally dry. Similar to keeping lettuce from turning brown, keeping it cool, crunchy, and non-soggy is all about storing it correctly. Restaurants keep lettuce fresh by washing them correctly with cold water first, and then, without completely drying them, keeping them in perforated metal containers or jars, which are kept in cool refrigerators.

In addition, restaurants put a cool, wet, and clean piece of fabric over lettuce to help it stay fresh and crisp for a longer period. While this will vary from one head of lettuce to the next, if stored correctly, the leafy greens should remain crisp and cool for seven to 10 days. Loose leaf lettuce may last for seven to ten days if stored correctly, but heads last far longer.

By keeping lettuce stored correctly, following the tips above, your lettuce can last longer and not brown. To keep your lettuce from turning brown, it is best to store it in a jar with airtight lids or in sealed containers. If the lettuce has more than one brown spot, simply continue cutting until all rusty bits are removed. To remove rust on lettuce, just grab your chefs knife, place it firmly on top of the head of lettuce, and slice straight through with the blade.

Even without any tears, and even if we had an entire head of lettuce, eventually browning would occur. If this is only starting to happen, and you are making a salad out of the lettuce, and a whole head is all the lettuce you have, then it is still safe to eat. In either case, as long as lettuce is eaten shortly after being prepared, as far as the potential for browning goes, it does not really matter whether or not it is been trimmed.

This is the other main reason people are more likely to become sick after eating contaminated lettuce and other salad greens. If you see black or other dark spots, blotchy white patches, or anything that might be mildew, do not eat it, regardless of how great the lettuce looks otherwise. Your rusty lettuce situation is because there was too much water in it throughout the curing process — a good thing to know when you are assessing how long your fresh produce really will last. Rust may occur when lettuce is overmatured or stored in hot temperatures, explained research published in August 2017 in Euphytica.

Is discolored lettuce safe to eat?

A Professional source confirms that a reddened lettuce, however, is still safe to eat. The enzymes present during this stage present no harm whatsoever to your digestive system, but the lettuce will have lost a good amount of its flavor and the nutritional value. Plus, it’s not exactly visually appetizing.

How long is lettuce good for?

While it will fluctuate starting with one head of lettuce then onto the next, when appropriately put away, mixed greens ought to remain new and fresh for 7 to 10 days. An entire head of lettuce will regularly endure longer than individual greens, particularly firmly bound heads of lettuce, like ice sheet and endive.

What does it mean when lettuce is brown?

When lettuce leaves are ripped, some cells are damaged, triggering the browning reaction. Even if there is no tearing or have an entire head of lettuce, browning will occur. This is because cell ageing causes damage and mixing of polyphenols with the enzyme.

Skip to content