After weeks off the shelf following a listeria outbreak that claimed six lives, it seems Rockmelons may be on the up.
Supermarket giant Coles has announced it has resumed stocking rockmelons after visiting suppliers across Australia to ensure technical health and safety standards are being met.
The news comes weeks after Rombola Family Farms was given the all-clear by the NSW Food Authority to resume production after being named as the source of February’s outbreak.
A spokeswoman for the company says a new testing program has also been introduced.
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“Coles welcomes the return of rockmelons to our shelves in our stores in all states and Coles online (except WA). The rockmelons are currently being sourced from Mildura, Victoria, with additional rockmelons to be sourced from Queensland in coming weeks,” she said.
“We are proud to support Aussie farmers and have implemented a testing program of rockmelons from around the country to check our high standards continue to be met.”
Though Coles recommenced stocking the fruit, the company is yet to confirm whether or not it will stock from Rombola Family Farms when the NSW season comes around.
Rossies Foodworks manager, Ross Catanzariti said while its coming to the end of the NSW rockmelon growing season, they’ll definitely be looking to continue to stock locally come next season.
“We’ll keep putting them back on shelf when the local product is coming back out of our area. We have a lot of faith in our own community,” he said.
“There’s nothing wrong with the quality of the product we’ve got in the area. We’ll definitely keep it local. One of our strengths is that we can source and sell local product.”
He said the outbreak came toward the end of the melon season, but at a time there was plenty left to sell.
“The story went national and the sales really slowed down,” he said.
Mr Catanzariti said he’s seen the market steady a little in recent weeks.The outbreak infected 17 elderly people across the country, talking the lives of three Victorians and three people from NSW.
Rombola has also confirmed all rockmelons in the supply chain connected to the listeria oubreak have since been recalled and destroyed.