Melons, especially those with porous skin (Cantaloupe / rock melon for instance) and some other fruits (such as Papaya) can contain salmonella on their skin. That is why they should be washed properly in soapy water before cutting not to spread it with the knife into the fruit.
Not opened melons can be kept in room temperature for couple of days but once they have been cut they should be consumed within 3 hours or refrigerated for up to 3 days to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning.
- Finding out those facts was quite a shock to me. Since that time I don’t buy halved melons any more because I want to be sure they have been washed well before cutting. I will also think twice before packing melon balls in my daughter’s lunchbox, in case she would not eat them within 3 hours.
My previous articles on melons: