In general, stone fruit are considered relatively low risk for foodborne pathogens. This is because they grow off-ground and undergo a good portion of packing under dry conditions. Still, Qixin Zhong, from the University of Tennessee, has looked into the option of enhancing the wax and fungicidal coatings typically applied to stone fruit with food-grade antimicrobials might reduce foodborne pathogen risk while extending shelf life.

“Stone fruits generally have low risk of contamination by pathogens, but there have been multi-state outbreaks and recalls due to pathogens,” he said. “So we need to enhance the safety of stone fruit.”