The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a warning over melons contaminated with salmonella.
The warning comes after several cases of the illness were reported throughout the UK, reportedly from whole honeydew, cantaloupe and galia melons originating from Costa Rica or Honduras.
Consumers are advised to check the sticker on melons bought on or before May 28 for the country of origin, or alternatively to throw out the fruit if they are unable to find out where it came from.
“As a precaution we are advising people not to eat these melons and to dispose of them,” FSA head of incidents Tina Potter said.
“It is important that consumers wash their hands and any surfaces that have been in contact with the melons thoroughly. This will help avoid the risk of cross contamination and the risk of illness.”
Public health England head of gastrointestinal pathogens unit Professor Saheer Gharbia added: “Symptoms of salmonellosis typically resolve themselves and include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
“However, symptoms can be more severe and lead to hospitalisation, especially in the very young and those with weakened immune systems. Anybody with concerns that they have symptoms of salmonellosis should contact their GP or out of hours service.”
The FSA will continue to work with Public Health England, Food Standards Scotland and other UK health and food safety groups as they continue the investigation.