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Pregnant women, infants and the elderly have been issued with a salmonella alert, warning them to steer clear of rockmelons.
Australia and New Zealand's food safety is currently investigating a spike in reported salmonella cases in Australia.
‘While we wait for further information, the best advice is that consumers, especially infants, the elderly, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems, should not consume rockmelon,’ Food Standards Australia said in a statement.
‘[FSANZ] will continue to work with the state and territory enforcement agencies and the Federal Department of Health and update its advice to consumers.’
The Food Authority website said ‘contaminated water, fertiliser, contact with pests/animals or insufficient cleaning of rockmelons prior to sale could be contributing factors to rockmelons becoming contaminated with Salmonella.
How to minimise the risk of Salmonella in rockmelons:
Don't buy bruised or damaged melons. If already cut, ensure they are surrounded by ice or in the fridge.
Produce should be refrigerated within two hours of cutting, or discarded.
Wash rockmelons with tap water before eating and cut away any bruised bits.
Ensure cutting boards and utensils are cleaned after coming in contact with fresh produce, or raw meat, poultry, or seafood.