Australian melon growers have been given an extra resource to help ensure the safety of their products as the NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a best practice guide for rock melons and speciality melons.
The need for the guide was prompted by the 2018 listeria detection on a NSW farm which severely impacted the entire Australian rock melon industry. At that time, domestic and export sales ceased for around six weeks. It has taken the following two years to regain market share.
To support rock melon 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.
According to an article on queenslandcountrylife.com.au, the project will be rolled out by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and involves working individually with all Australian rock melon growers to review and audit current practice and critical control points.