Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation

Reducing ATP Swabs

Share this Topic

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic


    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 21 posts
  • 3 thanks

  • United States
    United States

Posted 22 October 2021 - 02:01 AM

The food manufacturing plant that I work at has been in production for about 1 1/2 years. We have added products and processes along the way. We currently have a heightened amount of swab locations to collect data. We now feel that we have enough stable data and stable processes that we can begin to reduce ATP swab locations. Our question is what parameters would we use to eliminate some of the swabs. We want to ensure that we have proper information that would keep our food safe and satisfy the needs of an auditor.

Vladimir Surcinski

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 43 posts
  • 21 thanks

  • Serbia
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Belgrade

Posted 22 October 2021 - 11:47 AM

Well, if you want to reduce the number of swabs, please wait for the end of second year. At the end of second year you will have enough of data to compare year to year. After you finish trend analysis from this comparing, next step would be to decide which swabs are not in risk areas and were not positive in last 2 years. These can be reduced for example. 

So, in one production they have performed 30 swabs per month internally, plus external laboratory controls once per month for 20 swabs. After two years they realized that some surfaces are tested 24 times with 0 positive results. This made them decide to cut swabs on this surfaces from 12 times per month to 6 times. 


After two next years if total tested 12 times are with 0 positive results, they will cut to 4 times per year. 


So this is one example, I hope it would help.


Take care, 


Vladimir Surčinski


Thanked by 1 Member:



  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 4,698 posts
  • 1298 thanks

  • Canada
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 22 October 2021 - 12:04 PM

Have a really good understanding of your trending data. Your explanation would then be that based on the performance of the sanitation team and chemicals that you're using, reduce/remove the non food contact points from your sampling plan.  You will also need to be able to confidently explain any spikes that have occurred and demonstrate what corrective measures were implemented to prevent the spikes from becoming the new normal


You may want to incorporate spot ATP swabs that are done without prior notification to the sanitation team as part of your new normal plan


As long as you can comfortably and confidently explain your position to an auditor, there should be no issue, make sure your documentation is buttoned up tight

Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 21 posts
  • 3 thanks

  • United States
    United States

Posted 27 October 2021 - 01:10 AM

Thank you for your replies


    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,640 posts
  • 1105 thanks

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:World
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 27 October 2021 - 04:38 AM

Hi AK!,

To add to the points raised previously by Vladmir & Scampi, I would be wanting to conduct a global review of all results, not just ATP swabbing: 

What are you swabbing?

Locations/Food contact/Non-food contact – In any swabbing programme I would be prioritising Food contact

What are the levels?

Numbers of Pass/Caution/Fail for each location

Compare these results with micro swab results and product micro results.

As a whole picture you can then demonstrate compliance and justify your reduction in ATP swabbing.

Whilst I agree with the comment regarding consistently negative results, note that the BRCGS for Food Safety prescribes review when you consistently get negative results (e.g. a site with a long history of negative results should review its programme to consider whether the correct parts of the factory are being tested, whether the testing is being conducted correctly, whether the tests are for the appropriate organisms, etc.).

Kind regards,


Share this

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users