The convenience of bagged lettuce, prewashed and cut into small pieces, appeals to time-crunched consumers. Lettuce bags often contain a variety of greens ideal for fast and easy salads. When you purchase lettuce in this form, take steps to keep bagged lettuce from spoiling in the refrigerator. Many manufacturers use bags with special plastic, regulating the oxygen inside the bag to maintain freshness without using preservatives.
Transport the bagged lettuce home from the grocery store in a cooler during warm weather, if possible. Maintaining freshness involves keeping the lettuce as cold as possible.
Place the bag of lettuce upright in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. Storing the bag upright enables the lettuce to “breathe” through both sides while in the refrigerator. If you do not have a vegetable crisper in your refrigerator, consider purchasing special vegetable storage containers that simulate the humidity levels in a vegetable crisper.
Use the bagged lettuce before the “use by” date stamped on the bag. As long as you keep the lettuce as cold as possible without freezing it, the lettuce should stay fresh within this time period.
Insert one paper towel into the bag after opening the bagged lettuce before resealing it. Position the paper towel so it lays flat inside the bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag again. The paper towel absorbs moisture inside the bag, helping keep the lettuce fresh longer after the bag has been opened.
Do not store the lettuce near fruit such as apples, pears, plums and peaches because these fruits emit ethylene, which speeds the spoiling of vegetables like lettuce.