Show me the data (and end product testing doesn’t mean much): rockmelon edition

After a week of breakfast meetings in St. Louis at IAFP, I’ve seen my share of sliced cantaloupe (sometimes on ice, sometimes not).

I stick to pineapple, grapefruit and strawberries on the continental buffet tables.

Dealing with the fallout of 90+ cases of Salmonella Hvittingfoss linked to Red Dirt Melons industry members are, according to SBS, putting a public relations press to reduce market impacts.Unknown

Rockmelon growers in northern Australia will begin a campaign pleading with shoppers to buy their produce in light of a widening salmonella outbreak linked to the fruit.

A total of 97 cases of salmonella linked to rockmelon have been identified by NSW Health in the past seven weeks, including 49 in NSW between June 14 and August 1.

Authorities are still unsure of the outbreak’s origin but melon farmers insist it’s safe to eat rockmelons bought after August 2.

“As far as I’m aware, all of the growers who are still producing rockmelon have had microbial tests done on their produce and they have all been clear,” the Australian Melon Association association’s Dianne Fullelove told AAP.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.