If you sell lettuce, you need to care for it throughout storage and transportation so it reaches buyers in good condition. There are many things to know about storing and shipping lettuce, and these helpful tips will help you give customers the best produce.
Make Sure the Lettuce Is in the Right Conditions
Lettuce needs to remain at a temperature between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures higher than 70 degrees, the leaves of the lettuce head will begin to soften, and the head will sustain more damage when moving around during shipping.
Therefore, keep the packaging secure when shipping lettuce to keep the heads immobile. Also, when storing lettuce in the winter, ensure the thermostat is slightly above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid freezing the produce. When the environment is slightly above freezing, the lettuce will last two to three weeks. Conversely, it will only stay fresh for roughly one week in higher temperatures.
If you plan to raise the temperature of the storage area, raise it gradually in intervals of three degrees. Temperatures significantly affect lettuce, as the vegetable is sensitive to the smallest changes.
Have the Proper Storage and Container
Shipping the lettuce requires proper storage to keep it fresh. Use a container that has multiple holes that ventilate the inside. Lettuce requires aeration to stay fresh, so when the container remains sealed, the leaves begin to rot, and the whole head will spoil.
When shipping the lettuce in large quantities, buy cardboard produce boxes wholesale for a good price and plenty of supplies. Line the boxes with strong paper towels or a cloth to keep them dry. Lettuce that has moisture accumulating on the outside will become slimy and unappealing.
However, you’ll need to keep the lettuce in a high-humidity environment that won’t cause it to dry out. A humidity level of 90–95 percent is ideal for most lettuce to keep it from withering or becoming oversaturated.
Consider the Shipping Costs and Time
As a lettuce seller, you’ll need to estimate the shipping and storage costs to ensure you stick to your budget. You’ll need to factor in the cost of the containers, the shipping distance, and how much you plan to ship.
Ultimately, keeping the lettuce fresh as long as possible is the highest priority. Don’t skimp on the containers for your lettuce, and make sure the type of container has ventilation and keeps the produce temperature regulated. Also, understand how long it takes for your lettuce to reach its destination to avoid higher shipping costs from last-minute express shipping.
Lettuce is a valuable vegetable to many people, but it’s sensitive and needs proper storage and shipping conditions. Use what you now know about storing and shipping lettuce to provide some of the best produce for consumers.