Are these guidelines actually going to make fewer people barf and die?
When Listeria killed seven people in Australia last year, linked to rockmelon (cantaloupe for you North American types) growers acted like it never happened before and just wanted to get product back on shelves.
They should never be cut in half, although all retailers do it, and it’s just greed over public health.
In the fall of 2011, 33 people were killed and 147 sickened from Listeria linked to cantaloupe in the U.S.
And it keeps happening.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a best practice guide for rockmelons and speciality melons prompted by the 2018 listeria detection on a NSW farm which severely impacted the entire Australian rockmelon industry.
Domestic and export sales ceased for around six weeks. It has taken the following two years to regain market share.
To support rockmelon growers and combat foodborne illness risks, Hort Innovation launched a review of all industry food safety practices to strengthen food safety measures and provide training support for the industry.
Delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), the project involved working individually with all Australian rockmelon growers to review and audit current practice and critical control points.
One-on-one food safety consultations with growers, managers and key farm staff also took place.
The project also developed a Melon Food Safety Best-Practice Guide and a “toolbox” for grower use including risk assessment templates, training guides, food safety posters and record sheets to support food safety programs.