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Rockmelon linked to salmonella being removed from distribution

Date: 3/08/2016

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), in consultation with state and territory food regulators, is coordinating a trade recall of whole rockmelons from Red Dirt, a rockmelon grower in the Northern Territory.
 
The relevant state enforcement agency is working with the company to ensure implicated product is removed from distribution. This follows some rockmelons from Red Dirt testing positive for Salmonella in samples tested in South Australia. The strain of Salmonella in the samples has not yet been determined.
 
Consumers are advised to discard any rockmelon in their home, particularly if it is intended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems.
 
Background
 
State and territory health and food enforcement agencies are investigating cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss infection, a relatively uncommon strain, following an increase in cases in a number of states in Australia.
 
From the 14th of June, when the increase began, to the 2nd of August, 86 cases have been reported nationally (43 in NSW, 18 in SA, 9 in WA, 8 in Queensland, 6 in Victoria and 2 in the ACT).
 
Those mainly affected include children under the age of 5 years and the elderly. There have been no deaths reported.
 
Although case interviews are continuing, consumption of rockmelon is common to many of the cases.
 
Regulatory authorities have investigated possible food sources of the increase and have tested samples of rockmelon, leading to the detection in the rockmelons in South Australia.
 
If you are feeling unwell and suspect you have consumed affected product, please seek medical attention.
 
Update – 5 August 2016
  • A total of 97 cases for Salmonella Hvittingfoss have been reported across six jurisdictions since 14 June to 3 August 2016 (49 in NSW, 20 in SA, 9 in WA, 9 in Queensland, 8 in Victoria and 2 in the ACT).
  • FSANZ has been advised that Salmonella Hvittingfoss has been detected on Red Dirt rockmelon samples.
 
Update – 12 August 2016
  • A total of 118 cases for Salmonella Hvittingfoss have been reported across six jurisdictions since 14 June to 11 August 2016.
  • State and territory enforcement agencies have advised that they have worked with the company to remove all affected product from distribution.
Media contacts
 
FSANZ: 0401 714 265 (Australia) or +61 401 714 265 (from New Zealand)​ or media@foodstandards.gov.au  
 
Australian Government Department of Health: 0448 207 226
 
More information
 
 
 

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