If You See Red Stuff on Your Lettuce, This Is What It Is

Have you discovered red stuff on your lettuce? Here's what it is and why it's there in the first place.

When it comes to easy meals, nothing beats a hearty salad, whether it’s a garden salad, a Caesar salad or a protein-packed salad for dinner. Whatever your preference, though, it’s best to start with fresh ingredients.

So what happens when you reach into the refrigerator and find that the key ingredient for any of those salads—lettuce—is covered in red stuff? Although it may look nasty, it’s not necessary to toss out the whole head. Just romaine calm, because it’s an easy problem to fix.

What is the red stuff on lettuce?

There’s a fairly simple explanation, really. The red stuff that appears on your lettuce, often near the root, is what most professional chefs refer to as “rust.” It’s a pretty apt name once you think about it, given its brownish-red appearance. Your case of “rusty lettuce” is due to an excess of moisture during the storage process. The good news is, it looks worse than it actually is. (Here’s how to wash and store lettuce to keep it fresh.)

Is rusty lettuce safe to eat?

Yes, the lettuce is still good, so there’s no need to waste it. It may look unappetizing, but the situation is easily salvageable. All you need to do is slice off the rusty red spots with a chef’s knife. Remember to hold the lettuce steady and cut away from your body with a sharp knife. You’ll have fresh-looking lettuce in no time at all!

Next, find out which foods you’re spoiling by putting in the refrigerator.

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