EU – Europe Increases Checks on Melons after Salmonella Outbreak

Food Safety News

The European Commission has tightened the rules around imports of Galia melons from Honduras because of a recent Salmonella outbreak.

Emergence of a risk to human health because of possible Salmonella Braenderup contamination means official controls are to be increased with identity and physical checks on 10 percent of consignments entering the EU beginning Jan. 6.

The multi-country outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup that affected more than 350 people was traced to Galia melons from Honduras. Four people were sick in the United States and two in Canada. The UK was the most affected but ill people were also from Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway.

A sample of Salmonella Braenderup that matched the outbreak strain was found on the surface of a washing tank in one of the Honduran facilities where Galia melons were packed. The harvest season started again this month.

However, authorities in Honduras said the cause cannot be confirmed to be Galia melons from the country because a case was reported in July 2021 in Denmark, and no melons from Honduras were exported at that time.

The updated regulation temporarily changes the rate of official controls and puts emergency measures on entry into the EU of certain goods from some non-EU countries. Rules are modified every six months to account for new information on risks to health and non-compliance with EU legislation.

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