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Old 02-22-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
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Bad lettuce.

How can you tell if your lettuce has gone bad? I know if it get soft and slimmy, you throw it out. But my dad got very ill in a restaurant just eating a salad, it looked alright. I just don't know how long to keep it now.

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Old 02-22-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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the bib lettuce starts drooling, and the iceberg looks kinda frozen...

sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by buckytom
the bib lettuce starts drooling, and the iceberg looks kinda frozen...

sorry, couldn't help myself.
buckytom.

Thanks for the good laugh! You do make my day.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:17 PM   #4
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Joann, likely he got sick for some other reason (improper prep like a dirty knife or something like that) not because the lettuce was bad. There is no mistaking bad lettuce, it is slimy and brown and generally disgusting. Sometimes part of it will have rusty looking spots, but if you cut those off the rest is usually OK. Hope that helps.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
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Joann, likely he got sick for some other reason (improper prep like a dirty knife or something like that) not because the lettuce was bad. There is no mistaking bad lettuce, it is slimy and brown and generally disgusting. Sometimes part of it will have rusty looking spots, but if you cut those off the rest is usually OK. Hope that helps.
Thanks Alix.
I did a search on lettuce in this forum and it sounds like it would be a good idea to get a vacuum sealer and keep it in a canister, they said it didn't do so good in a plastic bag.
I will have to look around and see how much the vacuum sealers cost. Thanks, JoAnn
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:33 PM   #6
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the romaine just says, "et tu, beet tops? et tu?"
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:39 PM   #7
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Is the no bread thing getting to you buckytom? LOL!!!

Joann, Tupperware used to have a lettuce keeper thingy for iceberg lettuce. Worked GREAT. I still have one, but I use mostly romaine now and just leave it in a ziploc. We go thru it pretty fast most of the time though.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:06 PM   #8
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I had one of the tupperware keepers, too. It worked great for iceburg but of course, nothing else.

I wash my romaine, put it on a towel, roll it up, stick it in a plastic grocery bag and it keeps for a really long time in the frig. Perhaps it's the chemicals in the bag that keeps it fresh.

Hey, the lettuce thing would be great for berries.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:47 PM   #9
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I second Alix - "bad" lettuce is rotten lettuce. Impossible to mistake. If your dad's salad looked fine & was made with fresh-looking greens, chances are excellent he became sick from less than proper hygienic conditions in the kitchen or wherever the greens originally came from (just like the recent fresh spinach problem).

And if lettuce or other greens have been contaminated with e. coli or salmonella, etc., etc., there's absolutely no way to tell. The greens could be dancing around with freshness & still be relatively deadly.

I'm hoping you reported your father's illness to the restaurant. He might not have been the only one who became ill, & the restaurant needs to know about something like this.
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:00 PM   #10
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Or he may just have picked up a stomach virus somewhere else and it just started to kick in.If you can find out if other people ate the same meal and got sick then you can go from there if it is in fact it came from the salad.
Also if he got sick at the restaurant it probably not the salad as it takes a few hours to get sick from something you eat.
I once thought I poisoned [spelled wrong ? ]the entire Taos,Nm ski area with my beef stroganoff it seemed like everyone who ate it got sick however I could not figure out how that could have happened.Much to my relief it was a stomach virus going thru the whole ski area up in the lodges since you have alot of people from all over the country end up in these buildings with close contact it is easy to pick up a virus.
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:30 PM   #11
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Agree with many of the posts, particularly jpmcgrew.

There is an incubation period with all food born illnesses and it is at least a couple of hours (which is fairly fast, many are longer).

What caused his illness I have no idea, but doubt it was the lettuce.
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Old 02-22-2007, 09:03 PM   #12
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There is little reason to think it was the lettuce--unless it was in Mexico!! Lettuce turns brown and unappetizing when it is 'finished". You will definitely know.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:50 AM   #13
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lurker surfing caught this tonight. some bad info might have been passed on.

from the "learn something new everyday":

Why Lettuce Keeps Making Us Sick - Modern Farmer
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:43 AM   #14
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It's interesting that raw veggies are touted by many as being the best, but the director of the Center for Food Safety says, "Itís a relatively new phenomenon that we are eating so many vegetables raw, which is why I think we are seeing vegetables as the vehicle for so much foodborne illness."

I'm sure there were no raw foodists 50 years ago.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:33 AM   #15
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A lot of bad information passed around here...

Lettuce is almost all water and can be contaminated by the water it absorbs growing.

E. coli contaminated lettuce can seem fresh and clean. You can wash it and spin it but it will still make you sick.
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:44 AM   #16
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Does nobody remember the Hep A and E. coli outbreaks a few years back because of contaminated veges like lettuce, spinach and green onions? If it was the lettuce, a whole lot more people are probably sick. And the outbreaks were from produce grown in the States, as well as Mexico. I also think I'd probably report it to the Health Dept instead of the restaurant, as they would have a vested interest in keeping a bad food situation quiet....
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
Does nobody remember the Hep A and E. coli outbreaks a few years back because of contaminated veges like lettuce, spinach and green onions? If it was the lettuce, a whole lot more people are probably sick. And the outbreaks were from produce grown in the States, as well as Mexico. I also think I'd probably report it to the Health Dept instead of the restaurant, as they would have a vested interest in keeping a bad food situation quiet....
The original post was written 7 years ago, so before several of those outbreaks. The article bucky posted said E. coli can be found on any produce, but when bagged lettuce is pre-cut in the field, bacteria can get inside where it can't be washed off. That's one reason why I never buy pre-cut salad greens.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:19 AM   #18
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The original post was written 7 years ago, so before several of those outbreaks. The article bucky posted said E. coli can be found on any produce, but when bagged lettuce is pre-cut in the field, bacteria can get inside where it can't be washed off. That's one reason why I never buy pre-cut salad greens.
Hep A - green onions 2003

E coli - spinach 2006

E. coli - lettuce 2006

ALL before 2007, and I'm sure there were others as well, although granted there have been other outbreaks since.
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:08 PM   #19
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the romaine just says, "et tu, beet tops? et tu?"
Alright, seriously???

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Old 09-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #20
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How can you tell if your lettuce has gone bad? I know if it get soft and slimmy, you throw it out. But my dad got very ill in a restaurant just eating a salad, it looked alright. I just don't know how long to keep it now.
It sounds as if it wasn't washed properly (if at all) and was contaminated with nasties. It could have been cut with a knife used to cut raw meat (very bad kitchen practice) and suffered cross contamination that way.

Alternatively if the reaturant bought pre-packed "ready to eat" lettuce it may have been washed in too strong a chlorine solution and that might have caused the upset.
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