Lethal Listeria Outbreak Prompts Massive Recall Of Rockmelon In Australia

A listeria outbreak that has been linked to two deaths in NSW, with authorities tracing the outbreak back to a single rockmelon supplier.

According to the ABC, 10 cases have been identified – six in NSW, one in Victoria, and three in Queensland.

Rockmelons from that supplier have been recalled from supermarket shelves, but there are concerns that people vulnerable to listeria could still be affected by fruit they purchased before the recall.

Australian Melon Association industry development manager Dianne Fullelove told AAP that anything on shelves at the moment is fine, but anything at home should be binned:

Any current rockmelon bought before today, discard or take it back to the shop. Fruit on the shelf now is from farms that are not implicated.

People considered to be vulnerable to listeria may include are those who are pregnant, elderly, or have immune system problems.

A statement from the Victorian health department to the Sydney Morning Herald warned that listeria generally starts as flu-like symptoms:

Listeriosis starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhoea.

In immunosuppressed patients, listeriosis usually presents as a brain inflammation, brain abscess or blood poisoning.

Pneumonia, and heart valve infections have also been described. 

Just reiterating: this will likely only affect you if you are pregnant, elderly, or have immune system problems, so if you are any of these things: chuck out any rockmelon you’ve bought recently. You can get some more of from the shops.