Got a rocky in the fruit bowl or the fridge? Time to bin it!
Rockmelon has been linked to an outbreak of Listeriosis, with ten reported cases, including two deaths, across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
The infection is most dangerous for those with a weakened immune system. This includes the elderly and pregnant women.
The Australian Melon Association has recommended that people throw out or return any rockmelon purchased before 1 March, 2018.“Any current (cantaloupe) bought before today, discard or take it back to the shop,” Australian Melon Association industry development manager Dianne Fullelove told the Herald Sun.
No rockmelon for you!
The infection was initially seen within a group of ten elderly people. Each became ill between January 17 and February 9 after eating rockmelon. Two – both from New South Wales – have since died.
Listeria is naturally found in the environment and rarely causes issues for those with a healthy immune system. For vulnerable people, such as those who are over 70, pregnant, or have diabetes, cancer or suppressed immune systems, it can be extremely serious.
According to The NSW Health Authority, the outbreak has been linked to a grower in the Riverina region of NSW who voluntarily ceased production on Friday 23 February. Any affected product is being removed from the supply chain.
Both Woolworths and Coles have removed rockmelon from their the fresh produce section and will be meeting with the Australian Melon Association to discuss the safest way to return product to the shelves.
Listeriosis usually starts with flu-like symptoms and sometimes stomach upset. The symptoms can take a few days or up to six weeks to appear after eating contaminated produce. The NSW Health Authority urges people at risk to consult their local doctor as early as possible should symptoms appear.
For more information on foods to avoid while pregnant, check out our helpful list.
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