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What is ATP testing?

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is a molecule that is found in all living cells and is essential for the energy metabolism of cells. An ATP test, also known as an ATP hygiene monitoring test, is a type of assessment that measures the level of ATP present in a surface or sample. ATP is produced by living cells, so the presence of ATP on a surface can indicate the presence of bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms.


ATP tests are commonly used in the food industry, healthcare facilities, and other settings where maintaining clean and hygienic surfaces is important. ATP tests can be used to verify the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection procedures and to identify potential sources of contamination. The results of ATP tests can be used to improve hygiene practices and reduce the risk of illness and infection.

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Scrubbing the Sink

The parameters for the ATP swab test are:
0-10 Pass A score of 10 or higher indicates dirty food preparation surfaces.

11-29 Caution The ATP reading of less than 30 indicates that pathogens are unlikely to grow in other settings, such as schools, senior living facilities, hotels, and commercial office spaces.

30+ Fail 

After routine cleaning, ATP results can show biofilm, a slimy cluster of pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

How do you know if it's a good or bad number?

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