DENVER (CBS4) – Shipments of Rocky Ford Cantaloupes have begun rolling into grocery stores in Denver and across Colorado’s Front Range.

The shipments are coming in a little later this year, but Rocky Ford Growers Association spokeswoman Diane Mulligan says there’s a high volume of the Colorado fruit available.

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“This cantaloupe this year is absolutely the sweetest ever,” said Mulligan on the CBS4 Morning News.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Mulligan says you can actually credit some bad weather early in the growing season for those high sweetness levels this year.

“We had those really serious hailstorms that were down in Rocky Ford and so they lost about 30 percent of their crop and they had to replant and replant,” she said.

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LINK: rockyfordgrowersassociation.com

The melons first began arriving about two weeks ago and they should be available in stores through the end of September, barring an early frost.

In the past five years, Rocky Ford growers have taken extensive measures to avoid health concerns after a deadly listeria outbreak involving their melons in 2011.

To make sure cantaloupes are safe for eating, Mulligan says consumers should always scrub them down before cutting into them. She also provided instructions for how to cut through them on CBS4.

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“When you cut into your cantaloupe, you want to take your knife, cut through it and when you are done, wipe your knife off or wash it before you cut again because if there’s anything on the outside of the cantaloupe it will go in and hit the flesh, so you want to be careful with that.”