Why does round lettuce appear spot during cold storage?(0~4℃)Is it still edible?

I would like to extend the storage time.

Lettuce is packaged with other vegetables, like red chicory, NewZealandspinach, Romaine Lettuce, etc.

May be my expression is not clear, my English is very poor, please forgive me. I want to know the reason of the spotting, so I can avoid it.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • I assume by 'round lettuce', you mean iceburg lettuce? (as it grows into a ball-like shape, and tends to be that pale green, almost translucent at the base, which seems like what you have in your picture)
    – Joe
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:02
  • 1
    Sorry, please forgive my poor English. The lettuce is iceburg lettuce.
    – Daniel
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:20
  • Your English is clear enough that I understood what you mean. I was just trying to verify, and make sure that others (which might be relying on translation services) understood.
    – Joe
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that there is a little bit of slimeyness on one piece of your lettuce, this can be discarded. There are a few reasons why this happens. Firstly, bruising from picking, packaging and general movement. Secondly, how cold is your fridge. Is the spotting only on the exterior of the lettuce? If so, simply remove the effected area and consume the rest. If your fridge is too cold it will have a detrimental effect on your produce. Try keeping all your salad items in the crisper drawer away from severe cold. Hope this helps...

  • 4
    I disagree with a lot of things in your answer. Any discolored produce is not immediately "bad". The visual appeal of produce is nice, but much of the time there is no actual problem with the produce. I also disagree ethically with ripping a few leaves off that the store can no longer sell so you can save a few pennies.
    – Caleb
    Dec 23, 2016 at 6:58
  • Is it ethical for a store to insist that you buy produce that you cannot use? Stores have a duty of conscience to sell products that are usable and fit for purpose, in fact, I believe that the 'fit for purpose' is a legal requirement. A good green grocer preps his stock. an analogy would be buying a six pack, but one can is leaking - therefore it is no longer a six pack, but a 5 pack, the store should no expect you to purchase the sixth can.
    – Hoooray
    Dec 23, 2016 at 7:07
  • 3
    Another analogy - expecting the greengrocer to sell ready-peeled bananas. With many vegetables you expect to discard an outer layer of leaves.
    – Chris H
    Dec 23, 2016 at 11:12
  • Without wishing to appear rude, that is a ridiculous statement. If you are personally happy to buy substandard produce, where half of it goes in the bin, then that is your choice, personally, I like to be able to eat what I pay for.
    – Hoooray
    Dec 23, 2016 at 11:22
  • Please focus your on actually answering the question, not on responding to other answers. It's fine to refer to them if it helps improve your answer, but discussion between answers doesn't really work. I've edited accordingly; feel free to edit further, just keep that in mind.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:09

The brown spots you see are known as "russet spotting". This is a reaction which is believed to be caused by ethelyne gas emitted from citrus, such as apples, bananas, etc.

Bottom line, the lettuce is completely safe to eat. It's certainly less visually appealing, but it is indeed safe to eat. For ideas on preventing russet spotting, check out the source linked above.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.