Dr Paul Wigley, Reader in Foodborne Zoonoses from the Institute of Infection & Global Health, comments on the recent outbreak of salmonella:
Salmonella Newport is not a particularly unusual form of Salmonella, there are around 200 cases annually in the UK. Fruit and vegetables are not the main source of infection which is usually meat or unpastuerised dairy products, but they can be contaminated with Salmonella in production or processing. There are examples of fruit and salad vegetables causing major Salmonella outbreaks including salad onions, lettuce and peanuts. As Salmonella Newport is often associated with cattle or horses, contamination from animal manure used as fertilizer is a potential source. As this appears to be a problem in pre-sliced melon, contamination on the surface could be transferred to the flesh when cut, or contaminated water may have been used in washing the melons.