A salmonella outbreak has sickened dozens across Australia and health authorities have linked it to rockmelons, or cantaloupes, prompting officials not to consume the fruit grown in Northern Territory.
South Australia (SA) Health Chief Medical Officer Professor Paddy Phillips said, “SA Health has confirmed that Salmonella has been found in rock melons from a Northern Territory rock melon grower.
“Following the positive test results, the rockmelon grower ‘Red Dirt’ has said it will undertake a trade level recall of their product.
“All contaminated rock melon will be removed from the supply chain but until further notice, people should avoid consuming rockmelon, particularly if they are young, elderly or vulnerable.”
To date, more than 80 cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss have been reported nationally.
“As a precaution, SA Health recommends anyone who has rock melon in their home to discard the product as washing the rockmelon will not remove the Salmonella, and to not consume any other rock melon until further notice”, Phillips said.
Salmonella can be a serious infection and usually results from ingestion of the bacteria from contaminated food, water or hands.
Symptoms include fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, headache, stomach cramps, and nausea and vomiting.
People can start experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection between 12 and 72 hours after exposure and symptoms can last for three to seven days.