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  • Alex Bond

Seamless Transition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Switching from ATP to FreshCheck for Enhanced Food Safety

FreshCheck delivers an innovative approach to ensuring food safety through its swab-based colour change hygiene verification system. Designed with simplicity and efficiency at its core, this system offers a straightforward method for detecting the presence of microbial activity on surfaces.

hygiene targets

Easy switching from ATP

Users simply swab the designated area and observe the swab's colour change, which serves as a visual indicator of the cleanliness level. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) testing, while effective, involves a more complex process requiring investment in specialised equipment like luminometers and the ongoing expense of maintenance along with the swabs themselves. FreshCheck's system is more cost-effective, the swabs are economically priced and no specific hardware needs to be purchased. This makes it accessible for businesses of all sizes. In this blog we will look at a step by step guide of switching from ATP to FreshCheck for your food safety management practices.

1. Setting Up Test Points and Sample Plans

Test points and sample plans are the critical components of any environmental monitoring plan. They allow you to generate reports so that you can proactively manage risk, rather than a reactionary response which may expose you to risk. Test Points are specific locations or equipment designated for regular hygiene testing. Setting them up involves identifying critical control points in your facility to evidence cleanliness for that work area. Through the FreshCheck app or web portal, you can name and locate these points for easy reference. Sample Plans are schedules that outline the frequency and timing of tests at the various test points. These plans help organise your hygiene testing routine, ensuring consistent and timely monitoring. You can set up sample plans directly in the FreshCheck app, choosing how often and on what days tests should be conducted. Using sample plans and test points aids in maintaining a structured approach to hygiene monitoring across multiple locations or departments.

Import Existing Sample Plans

The FreshCheck software also includes the ability to import existing sample plans. From your previous software look for the export function and export the sample plans and test points. On the FreshCheck portal, go to test points and in the upper right hand corner click the orange circle with 3 dots and then click import sample plans. Here you can upload your exported sample plan from the previous software allowing ease of switching and continuity of location data. If you are using your own environmental monitoring plan on a spreadsheet you can easily transfer the document into a .csv file for uploading. Please get in contact with the team here for more help uploading your existing sample plans.

2. Swabbing Test Points

When it's time to test a designated point, use the FreshCheck swab, which changes colour in response to the presence of microbial activity or residual organic matter, indicating the cleanliness level of the surface.

Swabbing: Take the tip and thoroughly swab it over the surface in a zig-zag pattern to ensure comprehensive coverage. This method increases the likelihood of picking up any contaminants present.

Testing: After swabbing, place the swab into the tube with the purple liquid, this will react with any microbes collected from the surface. A visible colour change will occur within 30 seconds, indicating the presence and level of contamination.

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Each colour change represents a different level of cleanliness:

Purple: Pre-test colour

Blue: Excess Cleaning Chemicals

Dark Blue: Indicates a clean surface with no significant contamination.

Green: Warning to re-clean.

Yellow/Orange: Signals the clear presence of contaminants, warranting further cleaning and re-testing.

The FreshCheck colour chart helps interpret these results accurately, ensuring that any necessary corrective actions are taken promptly.

4. Recording Results in the App

The FreshCheck app simplifies the recording and analysis of test results:

Result Photo: Use the app to take a photo of the swab against the test point for a visual record. This feature helps in visually confirming the test location and result.

Record Data: Record the test outcome by matching the swab’s colour to the corresponding option in the app. This step is crucial for maintaining an accurate and traceable hygiene monitoring log. This can be done offline if your facility does not have WiFi.

Data Analysis: All data, including test results, times, and locations, are captured and stored securely within the app. This information can be synced across devices and accessed from the web portal for further analysis.

5. Longer Form Hygiene Reporting and Analysis

The app’s data capture functionality is essential for generating detailed hygiene reports and conducting trend analyses over time:

Hygiene Reports: The app compiles data into comprehensive reports, highlighting areas of concern, trends in cleanliness, and the effectiveness of cleaning protocols.

Analysis: Use the app’s analysis tools to identify patterns or recurring issues at specific test points. This insight is invaluable for improving hygiene practices and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Decision Making: With data-driven insights, quality assurance managers and food safety officers can make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts, optimising cleaning schedules and resource allocation for maximum impact on food safety.

FreshCheck Recommendation

The FreshCheck process, from setting up test points and sample plans to recording and analysing results, embodies a holistic approach to hygiene monitoring. It not only ensures the highest standards of cleanliness but also empowers teams with the knowledge and tools necessary for proactive food safety management​​​​.


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