Frequently reported foodborne disease outbreaks emphasize the importance of proper environmental cleaning practices in food establishments. To validate cleanliness, cleaning practices should be routinely monitored, preferably by a rapid, reliable, and cost-effective method. The aim of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between ATP bioluminescence measurements and selected microbial assessments in studies conducted in food establishments. A systematic literature review and meta-analysis was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses principles. Twelve online databases and search engines were selected for the review. Peer-reviewed articles published in English between January 2000 and July 2020 were included in the search. From a total of 19 eligible studies, 3 studies that reported Pearson correlation coefficients ( r ) between ATP bioluminescence measurements and microbial assessments were used for the meta-analysis calculations. Only the fixed-effect model gave a strong correlation because one value dominated the estimates; r = 0.9339 (0.9278, 0.9399). In contrast, both the random-effect model; 0.2978 (0.24, 0.3471) and the mixed-effects model; r = 0.3162 (-0.0387, 0.6711), indicated weak dependence between ATP bioluminescence and microbial assessments with no evidence of a strong correlation. Therefore, the meta-analysis results indicated no sufficient evidence of a strong correlation between ATP bioluminescence measurements and microbial assessments when applied within food establishments. The lack of evidence for a strong correlation between the two monitoring tools suggested that food establishments cannot solely depend on one method. Yet, with immediate feedback and quantifying organic soiling, ATP bioluminescence could be an effective monitoring tool to use in food establishments.

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