Adequacy of hand washing apples
an ATP analysis
Background: Foodborne illnesses linked to fresh produce has been on the rise in recent years. This increase in illnesses pose a massive burden to the healthcare system. One way to prevent this is through educating the public the importance of handwashing produce. There are many studies that have tested ways of washing and sanitizing fresh produce to reduce surface pathogens. However the average consumer mainly hand washes produce before consuming it. Thus this study intends to test the efficacy of hand washing by testing surface ATP on apples before and after they have been washed. Methods: Apples were purchased from the bulk section of a super market. ATP swabs were used to test the concentration of ATP on the surface of the apples. The values were recorded. All the apples were hand washed under running tap water for 15 seconds and the surface ATP concentration were obtained and recorded. The values were then compared to draw a conclusion. Results: The results show that there is statistically significant reduction in surface ATP values on apples after washing them (mean ATP value of 33.2) compared to before washing them (mean ATP value of 116.67). The p-value obtained was 0.00033 when α = 0.05. Conclusion: This study was able to conclude that there was a significant reduction in surface ATP values following handwashing of the apples. There was an observed 60% reduction in the mean values of ATP of before and after hand washing. In conclusion, hand washing apples do provide an adequate reduction of surface ATP values thus attaining surface cleanliness.