What is ATP Testing and Why Bio Recovery Uses It

Gabby MartinDate Posted:
Last Updated: Biohazards, Equipment, Remediation


  • ATP Monitoring is Best For Cleanliness

  • Testing is Quick, Accurate, and Efficient

  • Routine Testing Protects Your Business

Bio Recovery offers effective cleanups with the use of ATP monitoring.

A clean and well-maintained environment is critical to public health. ATP tests are used to test for bacteria, viruses, and organic matter. They are industry standard for a variety of different facilities and for good reason. When used properly, these tests have been consistently proven as an effective way of  ensuring cleanliness.

These procedures are considered industry standard and it’s important for you to be aware of the reasons why. We hope this helps inform and alleviate any confusion you may have over our standard operating procedures. Our crews are certified and trained to conduct these tests as a part of our promise to ensure the highest level of safety is restored.

How ATP Testing is Used for Cleanliness

ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate, an energy carrying molecular component found within every mitochondria. The presence of ATP implies active matter. ATP testing detects viruses and measures the amount of harmful bacteria or organic matter present on a surface. This test sometimes requires the use of a luminometer.

An ATP luminometer is the gauge that measures adenosine triphosphate levels based on the amount of light generated from the swab sample. Basically, experts take a swab of an area or surface and place it on the Luminometer, which measures ATP levels in Relative Light Units (RLU). If the area under scrutiny is unclean, the RLU reading will score it from 0-100. The higher the RLU, the more contaminated the surfaces are.

These tests are popular in commercial kitchens. Manufacturers and suppliers in the food industry use them to ensure food is safe for consumption by measuring the microbial load of samples, preparation surfaces, and equipment.

Why is ATP Monitoring Industry Standard?

Most biohazard experts, including Bio Recovery, use and recommend this testing because:

1. The Results are Immediate

When a crime scene, unattended death, meth lab, or biohazard is discovered you’ll want to restore the hygiene of the area immediately. Using a luminometer speeds up the process by displaying the results of all harmful bacteria and organic matter, both living and non living, immediately.

Bio Recovery uses ATP testing to check that surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned. These tests are used in most of our services, including including crimes, industrial accidents, and unattended deaths. These situations require immediate emergency responses and efficient cleanup, with no time wasted, so the spread of contaminants are stopped. It is a crucial part of our service because contaminated surfaces can have hazards not seen by the naked eye, like bloodborne pathogens and other infectious bodily fluids.

That’s why ATP testing is industry standard and for good reason. You’re done in as few as five seconds and assured with reliable results. 

2. ATP Tests are Accurate

When treating a contamination, any margin of error must be minimalized as much as possible. Dangerous areas like unattended death scenes can carry pathogens like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and hepatitis B. And no one can safely occupy such places before using accurate tools to test if they contain zero health hazards.

All products, machines, surfaces, etc., are unaffected during these tests. Regular cotton swabs are used to collect samples and no harmful residue or surfactants are used on the surface. That’s why it’s often used in any sector that handles food.

Manufacturers in the food sector must rigorously test their products to ensure they are free of biological, chemical, and physical hazards. Inadvertently using unreliable techniques puts your customers at a high risk of being exposed to potentially fatal food poisoning. If you’re a restaurant you’re all too familiar with this potential liability.

3. It helps prevent liability by ensuring your staff are sufficiently trained

When using these tests on a bio clean up, you want to only work with a certified and trained crew like Bio Recovery. Testing after a cleanup has been completed is perfectly fine and even recommended for certain businesses. For example, staff in the food industry should be remotely familiar with specific health standards. Where there is food, there is bacteria growth, and that makes these tests even more advantageous in determining whether or not your staff require further training or assistance.

While these tests are great for you to determine whether or not your staff needs more training on hygienic procedures, it is unethical and illegal to ask your untrained staff to clean up the bio yourself. We see this during power failures or major walk-in food spoilage. We, Bio Recovery, have crews of fully trained staffed to disinfect and remove the odors from failed commercial refrigerators and freezers.

4. It helps prevent food safety fines

We professionally disinfect and treat industrial kitchens all the time. Left untreated, these surfaces are a significant issue that can harm final consumers, especially if the contact areas contain biological hazards like yeasts, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. This is is a potential liability and hefty fine as well.

You can avoid most food safety issues by using emphasizing good hygienic practices like handwashing. Most importantly, using ATP tests is the best way to determine if everything in your facility, including products, machines, and appliances, is clean and safe for use, both by your team and the end-users. We cannot stress the benefit of occasionally testing potentially contaminated surfaces. If your establishment is highly contaminated, it’s time to call us.

Let Us Restore Your Peace of Mind

You should never attempt to clean a crime scene, unattended death, suicide, and hoarding cleanup yourself. These situations are more complicated than conventional mopping and dusting. That is so because most of these involve biohazards and potentially harmful organic matter, including bodily fluids and human or animal waste.

Bio Recovery is here to help you out. We thoroughly use ATP tests to prove our results.
If you’re in this situation now, please contact us on our completely discrete 24/7 emergency hotline.

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