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| 12 April, 2018

UAE says markets free of listeria-infected Australian rock melons

On March 5, MOCCAE issued a decision to withdraw and remove Australian rock melons from UAE markets

Image used for illustrative purpose only.
A man carries melons in Tegucigalpa March 24, 2008. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned grocers to remove melons shipped by a Honduran company from their stock and suggested shoppers check with stores to see where recently purchased melons came from, local media reported. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Image used for illustrative purpose only. A man carries melons in Tegucigalpa March 24, 2008. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned grocers to remove melons shipped by a Honduran company from their stock and suggested shoppers check with stores to see where recently purchased melons came from, local media reported. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

DUBAI - The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has confirmed that UAE markets are free of the listeria-contaminated Australian rock melons.

The confirmation comes in response to the recent rumors circulating on social media in this regard.

On March 5th, 2018, MOCCAE issued a decision to withdraw and remove Australian rock melons from UAE markets, in line with the Ministerial Decree no. 433 for 2017 on Rapid Alert System for Food.

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Majd Al Herbawi, Food Safety Director at the ministry said, "The decision comes in the wake of what has been circulated in international newspapers regarding the listeria-contaminated Australian rock melons. The Ministry has been closely following the updates of the outbreak."

Al Herbawi indicated that the ministry, along with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and municipal authorities in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah, is monitoring the markets to ensure the sound implementation of the decision.

"The ministry has also directed food safety regulatory authorities at UAE entry points to deny the entry of rock melon shipments coming from Australia, unless they are declared contamination free," she added.

MOCCAE assures consumers that the rock melons found in UAE markets are safe to consume, as lab test results showed they are free of any contamination.

The Ministry is keeping abreast of all updates on the outbreak and continues to tighten procedures on inbound rock melon shipments from Australia.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.