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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), specifically the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), requires growers to clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces to protect against produce contamination. The ATP monitoring device is a potential sanitation tool to monitor the efficacy of an on-farm cleaning and sanitation program that could help growers meet regulatory expectations mandated by PSR. The ATP device uses bioluminescence to detect all ATP (found in bacteria and produce matter cells) from a swabbed surface. Little work has been done to test the efficacy of these tools under postharvest conditions. The present study evaluated ATP measurement for postharvest surface cleanliness evaluation. Concentrations of leafy greens (spinach, romaine, red cabbage) (with/without L. innocua) were used as organic matter inocula onto stainless steel, HDPE plastic, and bamboo wood coupons to represent postharvest surfaces. The ATP levels on the coupons were measured using swabs and ATP monitoring device. Results showed that the concentration of L. innocua and leafy greens on a surface had a highly significant effect on the ATP device reading (PL. innocua at 4.5 log CFU/coupon where the ATP device could no longer detect ATP from L. innocua. The type of leafy green on a food-contact surface did not affect the ATP reading (P=0.88). Leafy greens with L. innocua had a higher ATP reading when compared to saline and L. innocua, demonstrating the presence of leafy green matter contributes to ATP reading when combined with L. innocua. The different food-contact surfaces had different ATP readings (P=0.03) and the ATP device did not detect bacterial or leafy green ATP from bamboo wood surfaces (P=0.16). Based upon our results, ATP measurement is an appropriate tool to measure produce or bacterial contamination on stainless steel or HDPE plastic surfaces, however it is not recommended for wood surfaces.


First Advisor

Amanda J. Kinchla

Second Advisor

Lynne A McLandsborough

Third Advisor

Wesley R Autio