Authorities Warn Pregnant Women To Avoid Rock Melon

Authorities are warning pregnant women to avoid eating rock melon, in light of the recent listeria outbreak. A batch of contaminated rock melon has resulted in 12 people people being infected with listeria, of those 12, two have passed away from the infection.

Authorities have linked the outbreak to a grower in Nericon, near Griffith in NSW; however, cases of listeria poisoning have been reported in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. The grower has been working with authorities to establish how the contamination occurred. This particular grower’s fruit has been removed from circulation, but if you are not sure of the origin of rock melon you may have, it is safer to throw it away.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of Communicable Diseases at NSW Health, explained that foods that contain the listeria bacteria don’t cause illness in most people. But higher risk groups, such as the elderly, sick or pregnant women it can be very dangerous and possibly result in severe illness or death. She warns that these high risk groups must take extra care.

Symptoms of Listeriosis resemble flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, chills, nausea and sometime diarrhoea. Symptoms can emerge within a few days of consumption or up to six weeks later.

While most pregnant women are aware of the foods they should avoid to help protect against listeria, rockmelon is not one that is deemed unsafe. Authorities seek to remind pregnant women and other people who are vulnerable to listeria, to avoid foods that pose a risk, including pre-packed cold salads, pre-cooked cold chicken, cold delicatessen meats, pate, raw or smoked seafood, unpasteurised milk, soft cheeses, sprouted seeds and raw mushrooms.

You can read more about a healthy pregnancy diet, and foods to avoid during pregnancy here.

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