Find The Freshest Grocery Store Salad By Looking At The Bottom Of The Bag

Salads are a tasty and easy way to get some vegetables into your diet, but they can be expensive and time-consuming to assemble and prepare, so many opt for simple bagged salads instead. Unfortunately, the prepackaged greens aren't always in top condition when they reach your supermarket's produce section. However, there's an easy way to find the freshest ones; All it requires is a glance at the bottom of the bag.

Savvy shoppers should examine the bottom of the bag because that's where they'll most likely find the slimy, wilted, ugly-looking pieces that can ruin your salad. This is due to basic science. As the leaves degrade, they become denser, while the moisture that builds on their exterior helps them slide down over time. If you see more than a few of these leaves collected in the bag, it's worth grabbing another, regardless of what the date on the package may say.

Unpleasant, but not a dealbreaker

If you've already bought a bag without checking and discovered some dark, wilted leaves at the bottom, don't worry. You can safely pick out the bad pieces and serve the rest. Eating one of these wilted leaves is unlikely to make you sick. You also don't need to wash bagged salad if it's labeled "ready to eat." That won't save a salad that's past its prime and even risks contaminating the greens in the process of rinsing and drying them.

Still, there are some telltale signs of when you should throw away that bagged salad. Many have a "Use By" date printed on the packaging that functions as a general guideline for when the salad is past its prime. You should toss it if you see too many slimy or mushy pieces. A quick sniff will also alert you to greens that have gone bad.