The COVID-19 pandemic is currently challenging the hospitality industry to uphold stricter sanitation and cleanliness efforts. In response, businesses are adopting new protocols and guidelines issued from the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facilities such as hospitals, hotels and resorts are undergoing increased safety measures to help reduce the risk of infection towards workers and future patrons.
These ongoing efforts and changes to hospitality businesses highlights the need to quantify and monitor cleaning efforts. To help quality-check and measure cleaning efforts, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence-based surface monitoring is a technological method that can help the hospitality industry by verifying cleaning effectiveness and identifying contamination sources to help reduce the spread of infections. Transparency in cleaning protocols along with validating efforts with ATP testing will also give diners and hotel guests more confidence that these areas are safe.
ATP is the energy molecule found in every living cell. It indicates when contamination may exist on a surface from any organic matter, including living and dead cells, pointing to areas where bacteria and other microbes can hide. While other tests such as enzyme-based or bioluminogenic devices can determine specific bacteria presence, the time to generate results with these tests can take days. Similarly, more sophisticated tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and traditional methods like cell culture can take twenty-four hours to multiple days for results. Plus, these tests generally require advance understanding of microbiology and typically are conducted by expensive labs. On the other hand, ATP monitoring tests are easy to use and can provide results in seconds. Anyone from the sanitation crew to a hotel manager can easily setup and conduct an ATP monitoring program.
Although more consistent cleaning of common areas and sanitization of restrooms, doorknobs, and other high-contact surfaces can seem promising, few companies have implemented programs to verify or quantify their cleaning claims. Hospitality companies are notably more susceptible to guests leaving germs and bacteria behind. In our world of COVID-19, how do you know if your cleaning procedure is working? Now more than ever, it is essential to improve on cleaning methods and quantify cleaning outcomes. With ATP monitoring, bacteria and other residues can be detected; signaling any invisible or trace amounts of residue after housekeeping and the need for recleaning. Through the use of ATP monitoring systems, the hospitality industry can use real-time feedback and long-term data analysis to train, monitor and improve the cleanliness of their facilities.
About the Author
Steven Nason is Chief Executive Officer of Hygiena. Headquartered in Camarillo, California, with offices in Wilmington, Delaware, the United Kingdom, and China, and over 80 distributors in more than 100 countries worldwide, Hygiena products span the globe.