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What Is ATP Swabbing?

ATP [Adenosine Triphosphate] is a rapid testing method used by food and beverage processors to quickly assess the cleanliness of surfaces or liquid samples. Adenosine Triphosphate is an energy molecule found in all living things. That’s why most of the food we eat contains some level of ATP. This shouldn’t worry you because it occurs naturally. The detection of this molecule is therefore critical in determining the efficiency of the cleaning process in removing bacteria.

ATP testing materials are used to determine how much ATP is left behind on a surface after food processing has taken place. ATP products can help in determining whether or not a particular surface can really support the type of bacteria growth that could affect the health of consumers or contaminate additional food. The cleanliness of the environment and equipment is a crucial part of infection prevention and control and it plays a critical role in the spread of infection. Because of that, there are some things you should know about the ATP swab.

When Should ATP Swab Tests Be Done?

ATP tests should be done after cleaning, but before you do sanitization. That’s because sanitizers are less effective when product residues are left on the surface. It is best to eliminate all ATP before the sanitization step. In most facilities, testing after cleaning is not possible, in these scenarios; it is acceptable to do testing after sanitization.

How Long Are ATP Tests Good For?

ATP test devices have about a 15-month shelf life at refrigerated temperatures of two to eight degrees Celsius and a four-week shelf life at room temperature of 21 to 25 degrees Celsius.  All swab levels are printed with the month and year of expiration for your convenience.

What Are ATP Testing Products?

When it comes to ATP test products, there are a few options available. The first one is the EnSURE Multi-Parameter Luminometer which simply uses a single instrument to collect, analyze thoroughly, and give a comprehensive report. Its top benefit is that it offers you the opportunity to access real-time ATP results and same-shift microbial indicator results, giving you instant access to all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Another product used to conduct ATP tests is the LuciPac A3 Sanitation System which detects ATP+AMP+ADP in a single test. It has also been found to be a more sensitive and reliable indicator of sanitation. This product will also provide testing that leads to safer food production practices and consumption.

What Are the Benefits of ATP Testing?

There are a number of benefits of ATP swabbing, including:

  1. It is a quick, accurate, and effective method of validating cleaning practices.
  2. It demonstrates due diligence to consumers as part of supplier approval management.
  3. It helps in avoiding food breaches that may lead to costly food hygiene fines or food recalls.
  4. ATP swabbing also uses a training tool to educate employees on the importance of thorough cleaning.

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