Recipe for good salad greens:
Tips for Safe Handling and Storage of Salad Greens
When shopping, pack fresh salad greens in plastic bags so they are kept separate from other groceries, especially raw meats and poultry.
- Refrigerate salad greens at 35 to 40 degrees F within two hours of purchasing. Store in a plastic bag or lettuce keeper.
- Always wash hands before preparing salads and make sure you are working with a clean cutting board.
- Wash lettuce just before using by running cold water over leaves. Leaves can be difficult to clean so immersing the leaves in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes helps loosen sand and dirt. Presoaking lettuce for 10 minutes in dilute vinegar-water (1/2 cup distilled white vinegar per 1 cup water), followed by a clean water rinse, has been shown to reduce bacterial contamination but may affect texture and taste. After washing, blot dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture.
- Because lettuce and other salad greens are very perishable, they should be used within one week after purchase.
- Bagged salads can be convenient but added processing steps like cutting and mixing can increase the likelihood of contamination with microorganisms. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness with bagged salads keep them refrigerated at 35 to 40 degrees F, observe “Use By” dates marked on the package, and rinse well before eating, removing any damaged or spoiled leaves.
Information courtesy of the Colorado State University Extension Service