Listeria outbreak linked to rockmelon (cantaloupe)

Key messages

  • There is a national outbreak of listeriosis linked to the consumption of rockmelon (cantaloupe) from New South Wales, leading to a trade-level recall on Thursday 1 March, 2018. Ten cases have been identified as part of this outbreak nationally, including one Victorian case. Further cases are expected.
  • Listeriosis is an illness caused by eating food contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. Although uncommon, listeriosis is very dangerous to those most at risk, particularly pregnant women and immune-compromised people.
  • Listeriosis presents with flu-like symptoms of fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes diarrhoea. In those at greater risk, there is a risk of sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia and endocarditis.
  • Victorians are urged to dispose of any rockmelon if purchased between the start of January and 1 March, because it is difficult for consumers to determine the origin of purchased rockmelon.
  • People who have consumed rockmelon purchased during this time should look out for the symptoms of listeriosis, which usually take two to three weeks to develop, and potentially up to 70 days in pregnancy.
  • Consider listeriosis in patients with compatible symptoms and exposure, take blood or CSF for testing according to the syndrome, and notify the Department on 1300 651 160.

 Read the full alert: 1 March 2018 – Listeria outbreak linked to rockmelon (cantaloupe)