CINCINNATI -- It's a fall favorite, one that's usually displayed right at the entry doors of Kroger stores from September through November.
But Kroger announced Thursday that they will not sell their unrefrigerated caramel apples on a stick any longer due to listeria concerns.
Kroger said, in a press release, that no specific illnesses or complaints showed that previously produced apples actually contained listeria, but that new information from the American Society of Microbiology revealed that the product, as it previously existed, was at high risk for listeriosis.
"While we believe the potential health risk is minimal, we are acting out of an abundance of caution on behalf of our customers," said Dr. Payton Pruett, Kroger's vice president of food safety in a press release.
Pruett said that Kroger would like to carry the caramel apples again but only after the company works with suppliers to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
So, as of Thursday, all unrefrigerated caramel apples on a stick -- with and without peanuts, sprinkles and cookie crumbs -- have been removed from shelves and disposed.