The NSW Food Authority is continuing its work to determine the exact cause of a national Listeriosis outbreak that affected 17 people nationally and has been linked to 4 deaths.
Through the use of state of the art genetic sequencing technology the outbreak was narrowed from thousands of possible sources to a grower in Nericon in south western NSW.
The Food Authority is now working with Rombola Family Farms in an effort to support the business and the wider rockmelon industry as it works to recover from the impact of the outbreak.
The NSW Food Authority implements regulatory programs across a range of primary production sectors, in light of this incident, pending the outcome of its investigation there may be additional regulatory actions or oversight applied to the rockmelon industry to drive compliance and see improved food safety outcomes.
Throughout the incident the Food Authority worked with the Australian Melon Association to support its members, providing a written letter to the association, that they have made available to their members to share with buyers, advising of its confidence all affected product has been removed from the supply chain, and that rockmelons currently available for sale or export are not implicated in this outbreak.
Some retailers have chosen not to stock rockmelons at this point, so consumers may notice they are not readily available on shelves. This is a commercial decision retailers are at liberty to make. —