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Aussie rockmelon grower linked to fatal listeria bacterial outbreak to resume production

Staff Writer | April 4, 2018
The Australian rockmelon farm linked to a recent listeria bacterial outbreak that claimed six lives has been approved by food authorities to resume production.
Disease   Rombola Family Farms
The New South Wales state food authority "has approved Rombola Family Farms... to resume the production, packing and sale of rockmelons," the farm said in a media statement.

The food authority had identified a link to the farm in the state's southwestern region as the source of the outbreak but "neither the Authority nor an independent microbiologist identified any specific source associated with Rombola or with our washing, storage and packing facilities for rockmelons".

The company said it will "undertake regular mandatory testing of produce" in line with a safety clearance program "supplemented by further daily voluntary testing".

Three people from New South Wales and another three from Victoria state have died from the outbreak linked to the farm, with another 13 victims infected. The victims had consumed rockmelons before a national recall of the affected fruit.

Those suffering from listeria infection can initially experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, and sometimes diarrhea, and it can be a serious disease in pregnant women, people who have diabetes, cancer or suppressed immune systems, and the elderly over 70, according to health professionals.

Australia exports rockmelons worth about 20 million Australian dollars a year to countries such as Singapore, New Zealand and the United Arab Emir