The Australian melon industry welcomes the news that the source of the current Salmonella outbreak in the country has been traced to one farm in the Northern Territory. The farm has commenced a voluntary recall of the fruit. Consumers can be assured that rockmelons now on the retail shelves are not affected by the recall and are safe to purchase and consume.
Food standards authorities and the industry have worked together to identify the affected grower and withdraw that fruit from the market. Health authorities in the Northern Territory have taken samples from the farm for further analysis. The grower is examining the farm food safety system and will rectify any problems. In the meantime, the Australian Melon Association is working with the affected grower to provide support and information.
Australian melon growers take food safety seriously and constantly monitor their food safety systems. The industry is committed to safe growing and harvesting practices.
The risk of food-borne illness is low in Australia with very good systems for protecting consumers and managing any incidents.
Consumers should always follow the following guidelines for melons:
- Pick fruit that is not damaged
- Consume melons in 3 days after purchase
- Only purchase pre-cut rockmelon that has been refrigerated
- Food preparers should wash hands frequently, and benches, boards and utensils should be clean (and washed with warm soapy water)
- Wash the skin of the fruit under running tap water before cutting, then pat dry with a paper towel
- Cut rockmelon on a clean board with a clean knife
- Refrigerate all cut melon and keep separate from animal products such as raw meat, chicken, seafood and eggs