Friday, July 13, 2012
Nearly a year after the nation's deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in more than two decades, Colorado cantaloupes are back in supermarkets.
Farmers near the town of Rocky Ford are going on the offensive to restore the fruit's reputation a year after melons from one of the area's farms caused a nationwide listeria outbreak that killed 30 people.
Farmers have banded together to trademark Rocky Ford melons and fund a new tracking system to prevent future outbreaks, but they must convince buyers that the melons are safe.
From new picking and packing techniques to traceable codes allowing shoppers to see where their cantaloupes came from, farmers in the two southern Colorado counties that produce Rocky Ford melons have spent $800,000 on safety upgrades to restore the fruit's reputation.