Oman steps up checks on Australian melons

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said it has been following up with the Australian authorities on bacterial contamination reported in melons produced at one of the farms there.

In a statement, the ministry said the health inspectors at land borders have been taking samples of each shipment of these Australian melons, which are then sent for the necessary laboratory analysis in coordination with the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.

Only if the results are found to be satisfactory, then the products will be released to the market.

According to reports, a fourth person died after consuming melon contaminated with listeria on March 7, in an outbreak that has so far affected over 15 people.

Listeria is a commonly found bacteria and does not cause illness as such.  But it can pose a threat to the elderly, pregnant women or those with conditions like diabetes or cancer, the reports said.