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Food safety requirements for melon growers and primary processors

If you are a melon grower or primary processor, you may be subject to new food safety standards.

Who needs to meet the requirements?

The requirements will apply to all primary producers and primary processors of melons.

  • A primary producer is a business that grows and/or harvests melons.
  • A primary processor is a business that does any of the following: washing, sorting, trimming, sanitising, storing, combining and packing melons, and transporting melons between pack houses.

What are the requirements?

The requirements of Standard 4.2.9 include:

  • an approved food safety management statement showing how risks are managed
  • traceability: being able to track where melons have come from and who they have gone to
  • managing inputs: including soil, fertiliser and water so they do not make melons unsafe to eat
  • hygiene: good personal hygiene and health practices of people that handle melons, as well as good hygiene of the premises and equipment they use.

The requirements will come into effect from 12 February 2025.

Refer to Standard 4.2.9 Primary production and processing standard for melons for full details.

Why has a standard been introduced for melons?

If melons become contaminated with harmful microorganisms or other hazards, they can make people sick. Cases of foodborne illness in Australia and overseas have been linked to melons.

The standard aims to reduce the presence of hazards on melons, keeping the melons safe for consumers to eat raw. Actions to manage the hazards start on the farm.

Melons can become contaminated from animals, the growing location, weather events, soil, manure and composts, water, postharvest washing and sanitisation, and poor worker and equipment hygiene.

The standard sets minimum requirements for food safety, to address the main risks during melon production.

What melon crops are included?

The standard applies to fresh melons including, but not limited to:

  • watermelon
  • rockmelon
  • honeydew melon
  • piel de sapo.

What do I need to do?

Page last updated 22 November 2023