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Beginners guide to ATP monitoring title banner

A Beginners Guide to ATP Hygiene Monitoring

While many methods exist for evaluating cleanliness, ATP bioluminescence is the only method that combines quantitative data collection with scientific measurement and still delivers speedy results.

For industry professionals including hospitality staff, food production teams, healthcare staff, and manufacturing professionals, maintaining cleanliness has always been a necessity. ATP hygiene monitoring technology allows users to monitor and assess the effectiveness of cleaning protocols beyond what the naked eye can see.

ATP monitoring is ideal for use as an early risk indicator for inadequate removal of organic residue when cleaning. As an established method of testing hygiene, it is used widely as a verification method for cleaning protocols in industries including food and beverage production, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and manufacturing.

ATP hygiene monitoring can be used anywhere cleanliness matters and is an effective tool for: 

  • Monitoring quality standards and reporting
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Training and encouragement
  • Evidence of due diligence

ATP is not dangerous, but it is a great ‘universal indicator’ of the total organic contamination of a surface, allowing you to assess the performance of a cleaning process beyond visible means.

What is ATP Hygiene monitoring, and how does it work? 

Even after extensive cleaning and disinfection processes, many hazards cannot be seen by the human eye and may still remain even when we believe our surfaces are no longer open to contamination. ATP hygiene monitoring is implemented to check the cleanliness of surfaces and to see if they have been cleaned thoroughly as well as effectively using ATP. 

ATP hygiene verification systems use bioluminescence technology to identify and measure adenosine triphosphate, commonly known as ATP. ATP is an energy molecule found in all plant, animal and microbial cells and it fuels metabolic processes. All organic matter (living or once-living) contains ATP, including food, bacteria, mould, and other microorganisms.

ATP testing devices contain a natural enzyme found in fireflies. This enzyme, called luciferase, produces a simple bioluminescence (light-producing) reaction when it comes into contact with ATP. Using bioluminescence technology, ATP luminometers can measure extremely low levels of ATP collected with testing devices.

Does ATP Hygiene monitoring detect viruses? 

ATP meters do not detect viruses and performing ATP cleaning verification does not guarantee removal of viruses on surfaces. ATP Cleaning Verification should be used in conjunction with Public Health and NHS recommendations and guidelines. ATP hygiene monitoring can be used to track the effectiveness of cleaning protocols and to verify that high-touch areas in your facility have been cleaned properly.

Therefore, ATP hygiene monitoring and testing products must not be used in the replacement of materials used for detecting bacteria or virus carrying contaminants. Learn more about how Hygiena™ EnSURE™ Touch was utilised to support and facilitate cleaning during the COVID-19 pandemic by reading our case study here.

With an ATP Hygiene Monitoring System, ATP is brought into contact with a unique liquid-stable reagent in the test swab device. When a test swab is activated, a bioluminescent reaction occurs, generating light output. Luminometers measure and quantify that light with an RLU* output. Light is then emitted in direct proportion to the amount of ATP present in the sample, providing information on the level of contamination in seconds.

*RLU stands for Relative Light Unit and is the unit of measurement used in bioluminescence and luminometers to measure and quantify light with an RLU output. As ATP bioluminescence reactions are linear the higher the RLU number the higher the level of ATP in the sample.

All our ATP systems come with data analysis software making it easy to track progress and helping you to identify root causes and take action quickly. Using data trending software, ATP hygiene monitoring allows you to spot areas of concern or predict where issues could happen. This in turn improves cleaning consistency, control, and ‘right-first-time’ cleaning helping to reduce downtime. 

Repeat problem areas are highlighted giving companies valuable insight into potential hazards and areas where cleaning protocols need to be assessed further. For example, if the data shows erratic results the cleaning regime is highly variable and should be examined more closely to see why.

Why your organisation needs ATP hygiene monitoring? 

A key aspect of the cleaning process is the methodology by which the actual standards are measured in a way that retains a documented audit trail. It is also beneficial to have a system that enables scheduled reports to compare sites and monitor progress. 

You can only manage what you can measure, ATP hygiene monitoring lets you know your cleaning processes are working.

Expert hygiene monitoring products by 3M™ and Hygiena™

Our leading ATP hygiene monitoring products by industry experts like 3M™ and Hygiena™ will provide your organisation with clear test results to ensure that you can implement hygiene monitoring processes to the highest standard. 

3M™ Clean Trace LM1 Monitoring device

How 3M™ can optimise your organisation’s ATP hygiene monitoring?

  • 3M™ has been innovating the ATP hygiene monitoring landscape with rapid, single-use tests that help reduce cross-contamination as a result of lacklustre cleaning.
  • With exceptional quality and sensitivity in their results, 3M™ hygiene monitoring products cover a wide spectrum of food and beverage testing. 
  • 3M Clean-Trace LM1 Hygiene Monitoring and Management System is the outcome of years of research, testing, and customer feedback, all meant to provide greater confidence and peace of mind.
Closeup shot of the Hygiena™ EnSURE™ Touch luminometer

How will Hygiena™ enhance your ATP hygiene monitoring?

  • Hygiena™uses highly sensitive ATP detection technology for optimal hygiene monitoring in industries such as food production, beverage processing, healthcare, hospitality, and personal care professions. 
  • Hygiena™ testing devices contain an enzyme naturally found in fireflies which creates a light-producing reaction when exposed to levels of ATP.
  • With bioluminescence technology, Hygiena™ ATP monitoring can measure even minimal amounts of ATP, and the quantity of light created from the exposure to ATP provides the clearest possible picture of how much ATP is present on the surface.

3M™ ATP testing and hygiene monitoring essentials

3M Clean-Trace LM1 Lumnometer

3M™ Clean- Trace Luminometer

  • Enables your organisation to achieve one of the highest levels of product safety, quality, and hygiene with sophisticated ATP hygiene monitoring that’s user-friendly.
  • The 3M™ Clean Trace Luminometer allows you to keep all HACCP results in one place while also enabling you to send data via WiFi or Bluetooth. 
  • Track your results with individual operative IDs.
  • Upload images of test points to your sample plans and keep lists to show problems to apply fast corrective action. 
  • Compatible with 3M™ Clean Trace ATP testing swabs for surface and water testing.
3M Clean Trace swabs

3M™ Clean -Trace ATP Swabs

  • Made with an innovative liquid stable enzyme and a pre-moistened swab tip to ensure a fast reaction upon exposure. 
  • Single-use tests that are easy to store and implement every day, and help you plan further to protect your workspace from contamination.
  • Compatible with 3M™ Clean Trace Luminometer system, which enables you to clearly see the results of your tests. 


Available in 3M™ Clean Trace ATP Surface Swabs or 3M™ Clean Trace Water ATP Test Swabs for both surface areas and clean in place (CIP) water testing.

Hygiena™ ATP testing swabs and hygiene monitoring essentials

Hygiena EnSURE Touch Luminometer product image

Hygiena™ EnSURE™ Touch Luminometer

  • The Hygiena™ EnSURE™ Touch Luminometer provides your organisation with secure hygiene monitoring with multi-chain supply insight and rapid hygiene verification.
  • Your organisation will gain more accurate readings with its built-in tilt sensor.
  • Collects, analyses, and reports data from multiple quality tests including ATP, micro-organisms, and enzymes.
  • Created with a secure, safe, and responsive touchscreen with simple, smart navigation technology. 
  • The Hygiena™ EnSURE™ Touch Luminometer manages your data via the cloud instead of internal stored drives.
  • Works like a smartphone with a shatterproof screen. It is USB compatible and connects to WiFi.
Hygiena AquaSnap and UltraSnap swabs

Hygiena™ UltraSnap™ and AquaSnap™ ATP Swabs 

  • Simple hygiene monitoring ATP swabs thanks to an all-in-one design with a dipper tip.
  • With patented Snap-Valve™ technology, simply swap, snap and squeeze to generate a sample quickly for a result.
  • Maintains a shelf life of approximately 15 months when stored at 2-8ºC.
  • Hygiena™ UltraSnap™ and AquaSnap ATP swabs are highly tolerant to sanitisers and temperature abuse; they can last 4 weeks at room temperature. However, we strongly suggest storing at the recommended 2-8ºC.
  • UltraSnap™ uses a unique liquid-stable reagent that provides superior accuracy, longer-lasting signal strength, and more reproducible results.
  • AquaSnap™ swabs have a honey-comb shaped dipper that is coated with an agent that aids in sample collection and are specifically designed to collect 100 µl of water ensuring consistent sample collection.
  • Hygiena™ UltraSnap™  and AquaSnap™ ATP swabs can be used with Hygiena™ EnSURE Touch™ and SystemSURE™ Plus luminometers.

How can we help?

At Gem Scientific, we understand that ATP hygiene monitoring is vital for the hospitality, food production, manufacturing industries as well as healthcare settings like care homes. 

When you choose Gem Scientific, we work with you to understand what you need from your hygiene system to give you impartial advice on the right system for you.

Our support doesn't stop once you have purchased the hygiene system. Our aftercare assistance is second to none - with specialist aftercare and technical support as standard, and free certified product training available.

 

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you work towards your hygiene monitoring goals:

01924 444577

hello@gemscientific.co.uk

LiveChat (available during business hours)

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