Frequently Asked Questions
I would like to test various food contact surfaces for cleanliness. Are there test kits available that do this?
Yes. There are numerous kits available and new ones come to the market on a regular basis. We have experience with two styles that are each described below.
- The first one is from Neogen Corporation and is called,
Pro-Tect™. This simple, inexpensive swab test verifies cleanliness in food service and food-processing environments. The test is a useful measuring tool to indicate when re-cleaning is necessary. It also serves as a training tool for demonstrating proper cleaning procedures.The self-contained test tube with swab is easy to use. First, make sure test surfaces are visually clean. Then, swab surface – return swab to the tube – shake – and wait 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, a color indicator will tell you whether the surface is clean, dirty, very dirty or filthy.
Kits are available in 50 or 100 packs and range in price from approximately $3.00 to $2.50 per swab depending on volume. Neogen Corporation can be reached at: 800.234.5333 or at www.neogen.com.
- The second style is called ATP bioluminescence. This method is more costly than Pro-Tect but has the advantage of producing more refined results. It works by detecting food residues.Food residues are common media for bacterial growth and contamination. They can easily be detected by measuring adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a molecule found in all plant, animal and microbial cells. It is a highly stable compound that persists long after a cell has died – making it the perfect substance to validate cleanliness. Unclean food contact surfaces will have recoverable amounts of ATP.
ATP is measured by bioluminescence. Bioluminescence occurs when ATP is combined with luciferase, an enzyme derived from fireflies. This results in light output that is measured by a luminometer (hand held device). The amount to light output corresponds to the amount of ATP (food residue). Test results are given in a matter of minutes through the luminometer.
Found In: Food Service