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Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how fastidious you are when it comes to taking care of your kitchen, there are going to be times when the refrigerator gets away from you.

I think all of us have opened the door at one time or another and wondered if what we were looking at on the inside of the refrigerator was still safe to eat.


One of the things that you may have seen in your crisper is a little bit of pink on the lettuce. This wasn’t a problem when you first put it in the refrigerator, but this issue, sometimes referred to as “pink rib,” has many people wondering if they should eat the lettuce or throw it in the bin.

According to a report from Eat or Toss? This may happen when the lettuce is getting older, is under stress, or is not stored at the right temperature.

Photo: flickr/liz west

Seeing pink on a green leafy vegetable may raise a few red flags, but it’s not necessarily a sure sign that you should be tossing the lettuce and moving on.

At the University of Florida, Catherine Belisle is a PhD student in horticulture. She has also studied pink rib on lettuce for a number of weeks and weighed in on the subject, saying to Eat or Toss? that she didn’t see any decay or microorganisms from fungi. She did say that the lettuce wasn’t exactly the tastiest she had ever had, but aside from a little bitterness, it was just fine.

Photo: Pixabay

So what is the bottom line? If you see a little bit of pink on your lettuce but it is still in good condition otherwise, it should be okay to add to your salad. If it is getting slimy, wet, or has an odor, it’s time to throw it out and move on.

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