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3 people ATP testing is perfect for right now: Thoughts from critical hygiene experts June 16, 2020


So, you say it’s clean?  Prove it.

Since Covid-19 shocked our pleasant daily humdrum into a flurry of fear, everyone is suddenly surrounded in clouds of sanitiser.  But it does not take a genius to be suspicious whether this sanitising 100% guarantees safety and cleanliness.  We want proof.  Any of us can say our premises are clean.  Not all of us have the results to prove it. 

And for you, food producers, cleanliness has always been paramount.  Covid-19 didn’t suddenly force factory managers to clean their surfaces; food safety laws have always been there, keeping your product and your people safe.  But don’t you still want instant proof that your surfaces are really as clean as you hope they are? 


Enter: ATP testing.  This technology is not new, but it is hot right now. 

ATP testing gives instant verification that the cleaning process has been done properly.  Here are the 3 people who need ATP testing right now:

  1. Cleaners.
  2. Factory managers. Or anyone outsourcing cleaning. 
  3. And – you guessed it – everyone else.


1. Are you a cleaner?

Use ATP testing to check your own clean.


Presco technician, Keri, cleaning in hazardous area.  ATP testing is a perfect way for cleaners like this to prove their clean has been effective.


Covid-19 placed a huge focus on sanitising.  In this post-covid world, some people will be lulled into thinking that as long as we spray sanitiser everywhere, we are good.  This isn’t, and was never, the case.  As we know, you cannot sanitise dirt.  We must do a thorough clean first. 

It is easy to say, ‘Oh, we have used this method, we have used these chemicals.’  Good.  But was it effective?  ATP testing instantly verifies whether it was or was not. 

If it was not effective, we know straight away.  No more going away with a false sense of security, thinking we’re clean.  Now we know.  No, it is not clean. No, it does not meet the standards. 

So, we clean again.  Then we test again.  Until we get a result that proves the surface is clean. 

This is cleaning verification, based on data.

And guess what.  Not achieving a perfect test first time does not make you a bad cleaner. 

If you clean critical hygiene areas like we do, some of the situations are tricky, and the standard is very high. 

Solving a hygiene problem by testing, adjusting, re-cleaning, testing again until you get a cleaning method that works, is better than assuming you can solve it on your first try then walking away leaving an unclean surface. 


2. Are you a factory manager? Or someone else outsourcing cleaning?

Use ATP testing to check you are getting results for your money.


Cryomodule Test Facility (CMTF) distribution box for cryogenic systems at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. ATP testing is a perfect way for managers like this to prove their factory is clean and safe for product.  Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash


For any company outsourcing cleaning and paying a contractor, you should use ATP testing to check if you are getting results for your money.  Ask your contractor if they can ATP test after their clean and share their results with you. 

The technology is relatively inexpensive and easy to operate – if a contractor is not testing themselves, ask ‘why not?’ 

If there is   a choice between a contractor who does not ATP test, and one who does, I will always recommend using the one who will provide data to prove their worth.

In the food industry, a lot of your food surfaces are swabbed for microbiological samples. 

Your environment has much stricter hygiene requirements than most, so this makes sense. 

Even so, you will have to wait 3-7 days between the time the clean was done, and the time your culture returns from the lab. 

During this time, you don’t know whether your clean was efficient.  Putting food back on these surfaces could risk contaminating them. 

Use ATP testing to give you instant verification that your surface is safe for food. 


3. Anyone else wanting to prove you are clean?

Use ATP testing to instill confidence in your customers.


Chef in Xavier Pellicer Restaurant.  ATP testing can help restaurants prove to their customers that they are clean.


Since Covid-19 and lockdown, people are nervous about moving back into public places. 

Why don’t you prove to your customers that you are genuinely clean?  We are not just saying we are clean – we have the test results to prove it.  Make your test results public. 

This can work for anywhere members of the public come in close proximity or share facilities; from restaurants to portable toilet rental companies.  Use ATP testing to give your customers back their confidence.





Presco Environmental can help you with setting up a verified cleaning regime as well as the supply of ATP testers and swabs.

You can find us at:



About the Author:

Saskia Prestidge is a content marketer, passionate about critical hygiene in the food industry. 

Amazed by the team’s extensive experience, Saskia is on a mission to squeeze the knowledge from their heads and share it with the food industry. 

Saskia would love to hear from you.  Find her at saskia@presco.co.nz



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