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#1 Legs

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:07 PM

Hi,

 

One of our customers has insisted that we go down the route of ATP testing but its all new to me. 

 

Can anyone recommend a good ATP testing machine? There seems to be a few about that vary wildly in price but do they all do the same things? 

 

The two I've come across that seem to be the 3M option and the Hygenia machine.

 

Is there anything else that I should be considering?

 

Thanks. 



#2 mruth84

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 02:23 PM

We currently use AccuPoint 2 from Neogen.  This is a very quick ATP swab test, and the instrument saves the data until it is downloaded into the software.  The software allows you to assign names for whatever piece of equipment you want to swab, and then will graph out the results over time.



#3 RG3

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 03:00 PM

I really like the functionality of the Hygenia machine and the way you can navigate through the machine and the spreadsheets you can create on the software. I have also used the CHARM novaLUM unit from Ecolab. Simple machine to use, however the software is not as user friendly. In any ATP machine it is a lot of swab, trial, and trend to set your own specs. Sometimes 0 is an impossible number considering the type of material you are swabbing.



#4 Pizza&Sandwich

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 03:07 PM

Biocontrols also has the MVPIcon. I have the older Lightning MVP and have liked it. You can buy a conductivity probe to measure sanitizer levels and temperature. They have a pH probe too. Their swabs are shelf-stable. Most of the swabs need to be kept under refrigeration and have a shelf-life of months. Both things to look at before you purchase.



#5 Setanta

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 03:14 PM

We also use a CHARM NovaLUM. We have a good track record with it and the people that use it, seem to like it


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#6 Snookie

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 03:47 PM

I really like the Neogen and their customer service is fabulous!


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#7 mgourley

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 09:40 PM

We use the Charm NovaLum. No issues with it, other than the software is a bit clunky. 



#8 Jules

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 06:27 AM

As stated above, make sure you do your own trials to set the pass / warning / fail readings that are appropriate for your conditions, you will need to do this to validate your acceptable targets. In some circumstances it is appropriate to have differing targets of acceptability for different environments.

 

Use ATP on a daily basis, but don't give up on the routine environmental swabbing; although ATP is quick and gives you a positive release the area to production, there still is gain to be had to use routine swabs on a less regular basis to make sure that your organisms of concern or indicator organisms are not lurking in your environment.


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#9 FSQNNow

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 08:09 AM

I think the comment of Jules is very valid.

 

I am interested to learn of experiences, not only which ATP machine to use, by also for what type of application it is used and what limits you have set, or maybe if you look to see certain trends rather then work against limits.

Was anybody also succesful in cross validation against classic swab methods?

 

What is the risk of getting a "false sence of security", based on the ATP readings?   (maybe a topic for a poll?)



#10 Mulan1010

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:35 PM

We use the 3M Clean-Trace unit and it has served us very well.  The company is very knowledgeable, they support their product and the software is user friendly.  I believe they have an updated unit in the works too.  We previously used the Charm unit and it was good too but the one thing we didn't care for was the size of the swabs, they took up a lot of room in storage as well as the QA Tech's morning start-up kit. 

 

Once you have narrowed down the brands you like then the company should be willing to let you test one for a few days.  On the contract side of things we have found that loaning/leasing from the company has worked best for us rather than actually purchasing the unit.

 

As stated above, I agree that ATP should just be an additional tool to ensure that the sanitation procedures are being effectively followed each day.  But a good tool it is because you get the results instantly.  The other plus is that the data can easily be uploaded and analyzed per the company's software.  We have found the trended data very useful.  One example is that we discovered one piece of equipment had higher NTU's than the ones around it.  When we looked into it we realized that we has some sanitary design issues with the equipment.  Once the equipment was better designed, the results were great and have continued to be so. 

 

Good luck!  Look at it this way - ATP testing will be additional support that you are doing a great job at sanitation.



#11 fgjuadi

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 11:14 AM

I've used Charm & Hygenia, Charm more often.  I like Hygiena better, but really the choice is "who has cheaper swabs" - swabs can get pricey if it's a new cost to the business, and IMEX they're about the same.  They all have white papers that indicate theirs is the best option on the market.  

 

I didn't know Neogen made one...I love their allergen sammich tests


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#12 RMAV

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:49 PM

"What is the risk of getting a "false sence of security", based on the ATP readings?"

 

I agree, with you and Jules, ATP should not cause one to set aside other methods of inspection/monitoring.  In my opinion, and perhaps this goes without saying, ATP should *never* replace organoleptic inspection, but work hand-in-hand.  When evaluating ATP, I have seen stainless steel fail visual inspection but pass ATP at 0 RLU/cm2 in a 15x15cm area.



#13 RG3

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:51 PM

I agree with RMAV, that this doesn't replace your environmentals or product sample testing, and I have also seen the opposite of fail visual inspection but pass ATP at 0 RLU/cm2 in a 15x15cm area. I have seen a pass of visual inspection but fail ATP. Remember that swabbing with an ATP is not equivalent to swabbing for APC or coliform.



#14 RMAV

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 05:29 PM

"Remember that swabbing with an ATP is not equivalent to swabbing for APC or coliform."

 

Absolutely, and some ATP swab suppliers will try to say that they are, and sound convincing. 



#15 teaks

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 07:06 PM

We have a Hygiena and like it very much.  We were able to borrow it for a 30-day trial first.  Software was easy to set up.  We have really made strides in our sanitation program using this device:  We show our operators the results and they even get a bit competitive!  When we introduced a new cleaning procedure, we did validate our ATP results by swabbing with sponges sent to a lab.






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