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ATP Testing: cleaning verification service

ATP testing is a way of instantly proving how efficiently your surface has been cleaned.  Doing this means your never put your product back onto a contaminated surface.  Evidence of cleanliness is recorded in a Certificate of Completion for your audit compliance.

This service will help you if you need:

  • instant proof of how effective a clean was – a lab test takes days
  • to detect microscopic pathogens that you cannot see on your surface
  • data to prove your factory is clean, rather than a visual check.

 

Presco Environmental technician, Drury, performing ATP testing
Presco Environmental technician, Drury, ATP testing a clean wall.

 

The solution to your problems

ATP testing is a way of instantly proving how clean a surface is.  To do this, a special reader measures actively growing microorganisms by detecting adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.  No ATPs means the surface is clean. 

Our technicians take an ATP test immediately after cleaning.  This result is documented on your Certificate of Completion (COC) for your audit compliance.  If the test shows the surface is not clean enough, our technicians can carry on cleaning right away, rather than finding a time to return to your site and finish the clean. 

The technology we use can test surfaces, water, and tight spaces (such as orifices and channels) and provide you with evidence in 20 seconds. 

 

What are your alternatives?

You could purchase your own ATP testing kit. 
If you clean parts of your own plant, and would like to measure the cleanliness, an ATP testing kit is a great investment.  You can purchase the one we use here.
Remember, you may not get as accurate results as an experienced technician.  Take time to understand the testing and your results.  If you purchase this device, a specialist team will help you learn everything you need to know to get accurate results. 

You could wait up to 7 days for your lab cultures to return. 
You can wait until your microbiological swab sampling returns from the lab.  The results will be very thorough and specific.  However, they could take 7 days, or longer if you do not have your own lab onsite.  If you resume production before these results return, you risk contaminating your product on an unclean surface. 
Please note: ATP testing does not replace microbiological swab sampling, but it is proven the most suitable preventative method to confirm the effectiveness of cleaning procedures.

You could use a visual check.
Once your surfaced is cleaned, you can visually check to see if any dirt remains.  You will not be able to see microscopic organisms that remain on the surface; it may look clean but still be very dirty. 
Checking visually is subjective and not as safe for your audit compliance as documented evidence is.   

 

Frequently asked questions

What does ATP mean?
ATP is an acronym for adenosine triphosphate.  Every living cell uses ATP for energy.  This is why ATP testing is effective: if no ATP exist, no living cells can exist.    

How does ATP testing match up with the numbers I understand?
You will have an industry standard that regulates the hygiene in your plant.  However, industry standards vary.  Our ATP tester reads in relative light units (RLUs).  If the standard you need to meet is in RLUs, our ATP tester can help. 
If you need help understanding what your standard needs to meet, contact Matthew at matthew@presco.co.nz.

 

How much will ATP testing cost me?

The cost for ATP testing service has 2 components:

  • The cost per test: $8.25 + GST
  • The hourly labour rate: $65.61 – $76.94 + GST.

Buying your own tester device costs $2,495.00, plus the samplers which are between $499 and $655 (cartons of 100)

 

What are the limitations of ATP testing?

ATP testing does not tell you which bacteria is on the surface, such as salmonella or listeria.
This is why ATP testing does not replace microbiological swab sampling.  However, it is proven the most suitable preventative method to confirm the effectiveness of cleaning procedures.

ATP testing cannot test a visibly dirty surface.
If you can see dirt on your surface do not bother testing – it is clearly dirty.  ATP reads on an exponential scale.  If you test a dirty surface, the reading goes off the end of the scale and provides no helpful information. 

 

 

Fill in the form below to see how ATP testing can help you maintain your critical hygiene environment.

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