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Update: FSA issues precautionary safety advice for specific melons

The FSA is advising consumers not to eat specific melons which may be contaminated with salmonella.

There have been some recent salmonella cases of illness in the UK, the possible source is thought to be whole honeydew, cantaloupe and galia melons originating from Costa Rica or Honduras bought on or before 28 May 2021.

Consumers may be able to identify the country of origin from a sticker on the fruit. If consumers are not sure about the country of origin of their galia, cantaloupe or honeydew melon, they are advised to dispose of the fruit as a precaution.

We are aware that a large number of UK retailers may have stocked the affected melons, which have now been removed from sale.

Tina Potter, Head of Incidents for the Food Standards Agency said:

'As a precaution we are advising people not to eat these melons and to dispose of them. It is important that consumers wash their hands and any surfaces that have been in contact with the melons thoroughly. This will help avoid the risk of cross contamination and the risk of illness.'

Professor Saheer Gharbia, Head of Gastrointestinal Pathogens Unit at Public Health England, said:

'Symptoms of salmonellosis typically resolve themselves and include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. However, symptoms can be more severe and lead to hospitalisation, especially in the very young and those with weakened immune systems. Anybody with concerns that they have symptoms of salmonellosis should contact their GP or out of hours service.'

Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance. 

Only the melons listed above are affected. We are working with Public Health England, Food Standards Scotland and other UK health protection and food safety colleagues to continue investigations.

*Update: Our previous advice issued on 29 May 2021 had also included advice about whole honeydew, cantaloupe and galia melons from Brazil. Since the initial advice was issued, further investigations including analysis of the food chain and testing have been undertaken. Additional information has become available that has shown that melons from Brazil are not likely to be affected.