TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Ministry of Agriculture asked public not to panic with the contamination of rock melon from Australia by listeria bacteria. The bacteria have taken the lives of four Australians.
According to Head of Quarantine Agency at the Agriculture Ministry Banun Harpini, the rock melon that is currently circulating in the market is not an imported fruit. Melon with the orange-colored flesh is the domestic product.
“The melon that is circulating in the market today is pure local fruit from Indonesian farmers,” said Banun in a written statement on Wednesday, March 7.
Banun continued, his office has been stopped importing rock melon from Australia. The government immediately issued the Agriculture Minister Decree No. 207/2018 on closing the import of rock melon from Australia to Indonesia.
“This is a form of protection to Indonesian fruits consumers and to anticipate the occurrence of similar events in Indonesia,” he said.
He asserted, so far, Indonesia did not directly import rock melon from Australia. But the fruit was imported from the two neighboring countries, namely Singapore and Malaysia. People living on the border of both countries are at risk of consuming Australian rock melon.
According to Banun, the Ministry of Agriculture will give a warning and monitor the entry of imported fruits through airports, ports, and borders.
“Quarantine officers will refuse and destroy on the spot when the fruit entered through Singapore and Malaysia,” he said.
Banun also asked the community to cooperate by not bringing the rock melon from abroad, whether in a whole or in pieces.
DEWI RINA CAHYANI