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Limits for ATP swabs


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#1 Rener De Jesus

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:03 AM

Hi guys! We are using ATP swabs to check the efficiency of our cleaning and sanitation procedures. However, I do not know exactly what are the limits wheb to accept or reject the sample. Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts.

-Renz


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#2 Tony-C

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:41 AM

Hi Renz,

 

Different systems and surfaces produce different readings. It might help if you indicate the system you are using.

 

With ATP swabs you will need to establish acceptable levels (validate) yourself by monitoring cleaning by inspection and taking duplicate micro swabs when you take the ATP swabs.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#3 TatyanaT

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

Hi Renz!

Maybe this study will help you

Attached Files


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#4 raa89

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 04:44 PM

Limits depends ontype of surfaces, type of production, type of material (stainless, plastic). Also luminometers have different sensivity.  

 

Standard limit - 300, but You should take a ATP swab and (to comparison) swab to check microbiology (i. e. total bacterial count, yeast, listeria).

So you can determine your own limits for your production. 


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#5 Rener De Jesus

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:02 PM

That is what I am thinking also. I've read several product descriptions of different ATP swabs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 01:21 AM

Hi Rener de Jesus,

 

Yr unit brand is unknown but the following comments are more or less concptually  "standard".

 

Initially you need to set up a baseline (aka threshold) level.

 

See the first attachment (manufacturer's manual) in this post which has a nicely explained generic Procedure  -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ter/#entry66395

(Pg 16 et seq)

 

In addition to above linked thread, can also see  these discussions (there are many others) on ATP "limits" -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...its/#entry61440

http://www.ifsqn.com...d-swab-testing/

 

PS - similar to the file in Post 3 but perhaps a slightly easier read, a table comparing units/limits/sensitivities from different manufacturer's has been previously posted on this forum. In agreement, i think, with Post 3, there are some differences.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#7 Tony-C

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 04:37 AM

Hi Rener de Jesus,

 

Yr unit brand is unknown but the following comments are more or less concptually  "standard".

 

Initially you need to set up a baseline (aka threshold) level.

 

See the first attachment (manufacturer's manual) in this post which has a nicely explained generic Procedure  -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ter/#entry66395

(Pg 16 et seq)

 

In addition to above linked thread, can also see  these discussions (there are many others) on ATP "limits" -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...its/#entry61440

http://www.ifsqn.com...d-swab-testing/

 

PS - similar to the file in Post 3 but perhaps a slightly easier read, a table comparing units/limits/sensitivities from different manufacturer's has been previously posted on this forum. In agreement, i think, with Post 3, there are some differences.

 

Thank you Charles, a lot of useful information there and also highlighting the fact you need to establish limits yourself given there is even variation between swabs and machines supplied by the same manufacturer.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#8 StacySmith7765

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 07:20 PM

Charm Sciences Inc:

 

Surface Type       RLU Limit

Stainless Steel        1000

Teflon                      2500

Plastic                     2500

Aluminum                8000

Rubber                    4500

 

** "In order to establish common standards, listed above are recommended initial pass/fail limits based upon Charm Sciences' experience within many food processing environments.  These limits can be reduced over time as plants are able to achieve passing results.  Corporate initiatives can also dictate tighter limit specifications by product risk, wet/dry cleaning, positive microbiological results, or product on hold.  A swab monitoring program must be flexible to meet the customer's needs, as one size does not fit all in the processing world.  The NovaLUM can easily accommodate the different sanitation monitoring requirements of all of its users."


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#9 Charles.C

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 07:44 PM

Charm Sciences Inc:

 

Surface Type       RLU Limit

Stainless Steel        1000

Teflon                      2500

Plastic                     2500

Aluminum                8000

Rubber                    4500

 

** "In order to establish common standards, listed above are recommended initial pass/fail limits based upon Charm Sciences' experience within many food processing environments.  These limits can be reduced over time as plants are able to achieve passing results.  Corporate initiatives can also dictate tighter limit specifications by product risk, wet/dry cleaning, positive microbiological results, or product on hold.  A swab monitoring program must be flexible to meet the customer's needs, as one size does not fit all in the processing world.  The NovaLUM can easily accommodate the different sanitation monitoring requirements of all of its users."

 

Hi Stacy,

 

Thks for the input but respectfully, from a general practical POV, i totally disagree.

 

You need a baseline for your own unit.


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#10 Tony-C

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 06:05 AM

Charm Sciences Inc:

 

Surface Type       RLU Limit

Stainless Steel        1000

Teflon                      2500

Plastic                     2500

Aluminum                8000

Rubber                    4500

 

** "In order to establish common standards, listed above are recommended initial pass/fail limits based upon Charm Sciences' experience within many food processing environments.  These limits can be reduced over time as plants are able to achieve passing results.  Corporate initiatives can also dictate tighter limit specifications by product risk, wet/dry cleaning, positive microbiological results, or product on hold.  A swab monitoring program must be flexible to meet the customer's needs, as one size does not fit all in the processing world.  The NovaLUM can easily accommodate the different sanitation monitoring requirements of all of its users."

 

 

:welcome: Stacy

 

Hi Stacy,

 

Thks for the input but respectfully, from a general practical POV, i totally disagree.

 

You need a baseline for your own unit.

 

In addition to your comments Charles, it would appear that the recommended initial pass/fail limits are extremely high :potplant: 

 

If you look at the procedural flow chart from Charm:

 

Attached File  MRK-1056.pdf   1.01MB   62 downloads

 

You will see that the example shows a 100cm2 swab of a stainless steel surface producing a result of 0. If that is an actual result then a limit of 1000 would be ridiculous. Another point to make, food contact surfaces vary in size and it not always as simple as swabbing a 10cm x 10cm area. This is part of establishing your own limits.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#11 GMO

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 12:54 PM

Is it only me that finds ATP swabbing a monumental waste of time?  (Just throwing this out there!)  :sofa1:

 

If they were as good as is claimed by the manufacturers auditors would use them.  They never do in my experience.


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#12 Tony-C

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:09 PM

Is it only me that finds ATP swabbing a monumental waste of time?  (Just throwing this out there!)  :sofa1:

 

If they were as good as is claimed by the manufacturers auditors would use them.  They never do in my experience.

 

Hi GMO,

 

I'm pretty sure we've had this discussion on the forums before!

 

I pioneered the use of ATP technology in the UK dairy industry in the 90's. It achieved phenomenal results including a 99% reduction in coliform failures and provided significant assistance with fresh milk, moving a product which had a 6/7 day shelf life to a product with a 10/11 day shelf life (there have been subsequent developments to increase this shelf life).

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#13 InventoSteve

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 08:59 PM

Charm Sciences Inc:

 

Surface Type       RLU Limit

Stainless Steel        1000

Teflon                      2500

Plastic                     2500

Aluminum                8000

Rubber                    4500

 

** "In order to establish common standards, listed above are recommended initial pass/fail limits based upon Charm Sciences' experience within many food processing environments.  These limits can be reduced over time as plants are able to achieve passing results.  Corporate initiatives can also dictate tighter limit specifications by product risk, wet/dry cleaning, positive microbiological results, or product on hold.  A swab monitoring program must be flexible to meet the customer's needs, as one size does not fit all in the processing world.  The NovaLUM can easily accommodate the different sanitation monitoring requirements of all of its users."

 

Would anyone have a resource that explains why Aluminum surfaces test so much higher with ATP devices?  We were challenged on this by a customer recently, and I haven't been able to find anything other than this post on the subject.  Thank you in advance.


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#14 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

Is it only me that finds ATP swabbing a monumental waste of time?  (Just throwing this out there!)  :sofa1:

 

If they were as good as is claimed by the manufacturers auditors would use them.  They never do in my experience.

You're not alone GMO.....unhelpful for validating dry cleans....unhelpful for gauging actual microbial load (with exception of the new 3m system which claims the results match up)....

 

I can seeTony's point about it's use in dairy. It seems like it would read well for "is there milk protein still here" if yes>reclean. I also see the compelling argument for being able to show someone on the line that the surface wasn't clean, provided the results were actually consistent..

 

I see ATP in the same way that I see "indicator organisms". A tool but an imperfect one, and if the standard is "i removed microorganisms", I'd rather actually count them every time.

 

I also 


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#15 Aliali

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 03:43 AM

It depends on the application and material of equipment. We take swabs on the surfaces both pre- and post-heat treatment equipment, and they have different limits. The end use of product should be also considered, when establishing limits.


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#16 MusselsGalore

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 09:21 PM

I work on a shellfish farm.  The production equipment is on a boat with saltwater from the growing area used to wash and clean shellfish such as oysters and mussels.  We have been using ATP swabs for over a year now.  A single drop of seawater will record RLU into the 10,000 range and up.  We have to constantly reclean, resanitize and retest just to get a clean reading knowing full well that the next splash of ocean spray will "contaminate" the work surface.

 

I read somewhere that wet seafood operations are exempt from EMP requirements.  We produce raw, live, in-shell bivalve mollusks.  They are NOT RTE.  Even a raw oyster still needs to be shucked before you eat it. 

 

The last Free Friday webinar I could not get any feedback about using ATP swabs in a seawater wet operation environment.  

 

Our customer's auditors insist we conduct swab tests, but I firmly believe the ATP swab is an inappropriate tool for this type of food production.  We already address pathogens of concern through in-house sampling and state health laboratory analysis.  

 

I understand that the ATP swab measures the effectiveness of sanitation procedures, but it is not very effective method of analyzing wet operations involving seawater.

 

I have still found nothing with regards to guidance or anyone else's experience with a similar method of production.

 

For now I am preparing to challenge the requirement in our next audit.

 

Any advice?  


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