While at a café recently I noticed the staff member thoroughly sanitising the table after guests departed. Curious, I asked if I could test the surface to measure how effectively the sanitising was done.
I swabbed the freshly sanitised table using an ATP testing kit. Wow! The reading was higher than my colleague’s mobile phone I had just tested. This is a good indication that the cleaning and sanitising was not done properly.
My next blog will explain how to effectively clean and sanitise a surface. In the meantime, lets look at ATP testing.
What is ATP Testing?
ATP rapid results testing is a well-established objective and reliable method to quickly assess the cleanliness of surfaces. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the universal unit of energy used and is present in all living cells.
The process of ATP testing is straight-forward and easy to use. When ATP is combined with a liquid-stable reagent the chemical reaction caused by the combination emits light, which is then measured as a direct proportion to the amount of ATP present. Very simply, the area to be tested is swabbed. The swab is placed into a luminometer meter and the results recorded.
The swab is inserted into a device called a luminometer, which reads the amount of light units produced by the sample. The light produced is proportional to the amount of ATP in it: the more bacteria or product residue on the surface, the more ATP. The more ATP, the more light produced indicating the surface has not been cleaned properly.
Why is ATP testing necessary?
You can tell in as little as 10 seconds if surfaces and high-touch areas have been cleaned properly using ATP testing. Our ATP Meters can measure extremely low levels of ATP collected. The detection of ATP is a clear indicator in determining the efficiency of cleaning processes in removing bacteria.
Will ATP testing measure Covid-19?
Although ATP testing does not measure viruses, results could be useful for evaluating the effectiveness of health and hygiene interventions preventing viral spread in the workplace.
Benefits of ATP Testing
- Contaminated surfaces show high levels of ATP and clean surfaces show low ATP levels.
- Visual inspections are imprecise and subjective.
- Quick, effective and accurate method of validating cleaning practices.
- Demonstrates due diligence to customers, staff, suppliers, regulators and management.
- Avoid poor practices that can lead to costly breaches or fines.
- Use as a training tool to educate staff on the importance of thorough cleaning.
It is important to actively verify the effectiveness of cleaning procedures to protect your business. A wide range of industries can benefit from the use of ATP testing, from cleaning companies to healthcare facilities.