ROCKMELONS from north Queensland are believed to be the cause behind an outbreak of a rare form of salmonella across New South Wales and South Australia.
Pregnant women, infants and the elderly are being warned not to eat rockmelon — also known as cantaloupe — due to the outbreak.
The Australian Melon Association said an uncommon strain, called salmonella hvittingfoss, had caused a number of people to become ill; a majority of which occurred in the greater Sydney metropolitan area.
SA Health and the New South Wales Food Authority is investigating the cases and believe the likely cause of the contamination came from rockmelons.
The melon association said the rare strain is usually found in parts of northern Queensland.
State and industry authorities are meeting this afternoon to discuss the issue.
“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.”