Cantaloupes on the shelf at Terry's Finer Foods
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Recent recalls of cantaloupe tainted with listeria have urged grocers all over the nation to inspect their produce more carefully.
Rocky Ford whole cantaloupes from Jensen Farms in Colorado were recalled due to traces of Listeria monocytogenes two weeks ago but those cantaloupes can still find their ways to grocers' shelves.
Often it's the price or convenience of a product when it comes to finding its way into your shopping cart. But with scares of listeria in cantaloupes sweeping the nation, consumers are concerned whether it's even safe?!
Jim Justice with Terry's Finer Foods in Little Rock says their melons are safe. He has been in the grocery business all his life.
"Depending on the cantaloupes that are ripe and ready, those are the cantaloupes that we order."
Yet, sometimes ripe and ready, doesn't cut it, especially when it comes to fresh produce. Safety is the top concern, and one melon is now off the list.
"The Rocky Ford melon, is a Colorado Melon, and is normally very popular in this area. And it comes out in the fall." Justice says.
Terry's Finer Foods does buy cantaloupes from the company that recalled the Rocky Fords but took the proper steps to ensure their customers' safety.
"This year we got probably 4 shipments and on the last shipment they were reporting the recall and people getting sick. So of course we keep abreast of the situation ...as far as recalls in ANY of the grocery items. In this incident they were recalled on probably one of our last shipments that we received. And they were reporting it on the news and we went ahead and pulled our supply before we got any contact or anything from the company."
Now only Gold Rush melons can be found on their shelf.
Justice says, "Of course after the recall we just went straight to California melons. And California will stay in peak season probably on up until late fall."
You can continue the safety net at home. The key is thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables, and preparing them properly.
The symptoms of listeria include nausea, muscle cramps and fever. Health officials say pregnant women, older people and weakly immuned people are most at risk for the disease.
Ed Barham with the Arkansas Department of Health says there have been no cases or problems with this outbreak reported in Arkansas.