SYDNEY, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia's largest supermarket chains are meeting with representatives from the melon industry on Thursday, after two deaths were linked to rockmelons contaminated with the bacteria listeria.
In total, the New South Wales State Food Authority confirmed that 10 people who ate the fruit between Jan. 17 and Feb. 9 had tested positive to the infection.
As a result, rockmelon has been pulled from the shelves of every supermarket around the country with growers forced to cease production.
"Coles and Woolworths (Australia's largest supermarket chains) are not stocking it at the moment," Australian Melon Association industry development manager Dianne Fullelove told Xinhua.
"We are having a meeting today about how we work toward getting the other 10 growers who have all tested negative back in the market."
According to authorities, the outbreak can be traced to a single farm in New South Wales Riverina area.
"With this particular farm, they are doing a root and branch examination of their systems to work out exactly how it happened."
"The growers are absolutely devastated and have not supplied the contaminated product since Friday following a trade level recall."
Symptoms of listeria bacteria can include fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea, with the elderly people, pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised most at risk.
No exports are believed to be affected.