Listeria outbreak: Should you check your rockmelons?

A listeria outbreak has seen Australians urged to throw away their rockmelons The contamination has killed two people and made eight more seriously ill Eating pre-cut, bruised or damaged fruit can heighten the risk of listeria

By Holly Hales For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 03:03 GMT, 1 March 2018 | Updated: 08:58 GMT, 1 March 2018

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Australians have been urged to throw out their rockmelons after a listeria outbreak linked to the fruit left two people dead in New South Wales. 

Eight other elderly people across NSW, Victoria and Queensland have also been diagnosed after eating the fruit bought between January 17 and February 9.

The outbreak has led to authorities urging people not to eat the melon, particularly if they are pregnant, elderly or have underlying health conditions.

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A listeria outbreak has seen Australians urged to throw away their rockmelons because of a contamination on a NSW melon farm

A listeria outbreak has seen Australians urged to throw away their rockmelons because of a contamination on a NSW melon farm

The outbreak has so far killed two elderly people and affected eight more with the illness

The outbreak has so far killed two elderly people and affected eight more with the illness

There are some things to look out for to avoid contracting the infection.

'Don't put it in your green waste, bin it,' said the University of Sydney's Professor of Infectious Diseases Robert Booy to the Today Show.

'It's a very nasty bacterium. (Listeria) has a death rate of 20 percent or more.'

Because the grower linked to the outbreak has stopped operating, all rockmelons currently sold is supermarkets are not affected in the contamination.

But those who bought the fruit before Wednesday are being urged by the Australian Melon Association to remove it or return the fruit to its place of purchase.

Buying pre-cut, bruised or damaged fruit is also seen as heightening the risk of contracting listeria and people are being told to wash their fruit before eating and refrigerate within two hours of slicing.

Despite the contaminated food already being taken from supermarket shelves, the disease can take from eight to 90 days to present its symptoms. Those at risk are

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