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Rockmelon Risks

by Andrew Thomson on February 8, 2022

As consumers, we need to know where our food comes from and ask questions about how fruit and vegetables are grown and the food safety practices from the farm to the supermarket or market stall – instead of relying on good faith.

This image was taken a few days ago while shopping at a supermarket.

As a consumer, you may not be aware of the risks associated with rockmelon.

Rockmelon has rough skin that makes it difficult to clean. Bacteria are found in the crevices. They can remain after washing and should never be cut in half and left at room temperature.

Salmonella and listeria bacteria have been associated with foodborne illness outbreaks with tragic consequences in Australia in recent years with many others sickened (2018 & 2016). Deadly outbreaks have occurred overseas. (Australian rockmelon growers have access to a best practice guide and other resources to help them manage food safety – but safety assurance goes beyond this).

The national food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand recommends vulnerable populations with weakened immune systems should avoid eating rockmelon.

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 10 years
  • Elderly over 65
  • People with compromised immune systems

Avoid buying damaged or bruised rockmelon.

Ask your supermarket or market stallholder about their food safety practices, staff handling and washing of fruit and vegetables before they go on display for sale.

Forget faith-based food safety. Keep them accountable.