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 rumours circulating on social media.

On March 5, the 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.

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 Quwain, 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.

The ministry assures consumers that the rock melons found in the 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.