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How clean is your checkout?


How clean is your checkout?


The pandemic has certainly raised the bar for customers expectations of cleanliness at grocery stores. Long gone are the days when an employee cleaned their checkout belt once or twice a shift, or at the very least, when their was a visible spill.

Now more than ever, grocers and retailers must stay focused on frequent, high visibility cleaning and sanitizing to ensure a healthy and safe environment and to rebuild trust with their customers. But, even with the most diligent cleaning processes, how can you tell if your cleaning efforts are actually working?

How to tell if a surface is actually clean

Here’s where things get a little science geeky – enter ATP testing.

ATP detection tools test for a molecule called Adenosine triphosphate which is only found in living cells, where it functions to convert the energy the cell needs to work, basically if it’s alive, it’s got ATP, and an ATP test can be used to find places where fungi, mold, and bacteria are thriving before the evidence is visible to the naked eye.

The detection method for ATP relies on triggering and measuring bioluminescence (biological light) using an ATP luminometer. ATP reacts with the enzyme luciferase which is the same chemical that makes fireflies glow and the amount of light it produces is proportional to the amount of ATP in the sample.

Basically, the higher the RLU (relative light units) reading, the more contaminants are present.

These numbers from Hygiena show suggested levels of cleanliness based on RLU readings.

Ultra Clean

0-10 RLU
You could literally eat off of these surfaces!

Good Clean

11-30 RLU
A good reading for high traffic, high touch areas

Somewhat Clean

31-80 RLU
Surface should be cleaned, some risk of contamination


81-200 RLU
Medium to high risk of contaminants

Very Dirty

200+ RLU
Gross! High to very high risk of contaminants

Results of our ATP testing

We used an ATP Luminometer to test several high traffic, high touch areas at 4 separate grocers.

Testing LocationGrocer A - Large Retail ChainGrocer B - Big Box StoreGrocer C - Large Retail Chain
Checkout using FreshBelt2 RLU
Checkout manually cleaned by employee for 3 minutes3 RLU
Same checkout as above after 30 mins76 RLU
Busy checkout, no visible cleaning744 RLU502 RLU
Men's toilet handle336 RLU
Door handle435 RLU
Floor3108 RLU

Why does this matter to you?

Whether or not you choose to test your store’s surfaces using ATP technology, the fact of the matter remains that your customers are going to continue to demand a higher level of cleanliness even as we move past the pandemic.

And viruses aside, let’s face it, there are fewer places dirtier than checkout belts – yeast, mold, fecal matter (!!), staph, coliforms and other harmful bacteria from food spills grow on their surface every day. This means your staff will need to be constantly cleaning high touch, high traffic surfaces frequently and well.

How FreshBelt can help

Right now, cleanliness is more important than ever to build customer loyalty and trust. As businesses and economies begin to re-open, grocers will need all the help they can get to support their employees and help customers feel safe again while shopping.

Automating cleaning processes at your store in any capacity helps unlock operational efficiencies so that you can clean more, with less burden on your staff. FreshBelt can help ensure that your checkout belts remain clean and sanitized by automatically and evenly applying your store’s cleaning solution to any belt system.

Several large grocery chains across North America that are committed to the highest standards or health & safety are already using FreshBelt. Your customers see FreshBelt and will appreciate your commitment to safe shopping and spending less time in line waiting for staff to clean between customers. Your staff will appreciate Freshbelt for reducing the pressure on them to manually clean and to get more customers through their checkout safely and effciently.

If you are interested in learning more about FreshBelt and to see if you qualify for a FREE 30 day trial, please contact us any time at [email protected] or by using the contact form below.

Helping you stay healthy, one belt
at a time.

If you are interested in trying FreshBelt™ at your retail location, or have any questions, we are here for you!




19095 24th Ave
Surrey, BC
V3Z 3S9

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19095-24th Ave. Surrey, BC V2Y 3B7
19095-24th Ave. Surrey, BC V2Y 3B7