16/03/18: AVA releases 100 tonnes of Australian rockmelons for sale

rockmelon--2-The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on Friday (Mar 16) announced it has released about 100 tonnes of rockmelons from Australia to importers for sale, after verifying that they were not from the affected grower linked to an outbreak of human listeria in Australia.

This follows a recall earlier this month of all rockmelons from Australia as a “precautionary measure”, pending clarification on the sources of the rockmelons.

“The Australian authorities have confirmed Rombola Family Farms as the affected grower linked to the listeria outbreak,” said AVA in its media release.

“AVA has worked closely with importers and retailers to verify the source of imported rockmelon consignments from Australia, and all consignments of rockmelons from the affected grower have been recalled and destroyed.”

Consignments which have been verified to be from non-affected sources have been released for sale, said the authority.

“AVA has also taken samples of these rockmelons for testing, and the samples have tested negative for Listeria monocytogenes so far,” it added.

In Australia, four people died and 13 others fell ill after consuming melon contaminated with listeria.

Malaysia has also temporarily banned rockmelons imported from Australia.

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by consuming contaminated food, and cannot be spread from person to person. There is an incubation period of three to 70 days, and the infection can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early.

Symptoms include fever and muscle aches, preceded by diarrhoea or other gastrointestinal symptoms that appear within 70 days after consumption of the contaminated food item.

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