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If you have to get a home inspection to start a cottage food business, and you use perishable ingredients (e.g. eggs), your inspector might require you to show that you’re monitoring your fridge temperature. It should be holding a temperature of 40 degrees or below.
There are a lot of fancy fridge thermometers out there, but this Rubbermaid one works great! And it is very inexpensive.
You might not think you need an instant-read thermometer, but it is one of the best ways to improve the consistency of your products.
If you’re a candy maker, then you likely already use a thermometer. But it has plenty of uses in baking too: checking the temperature of dough, water, butter, eggs, etc. If you don’t always see consistent results with your baked goods, try adding a thermometer to the mix!
The ThermoPop is the best budget instant-read thermometer out there. At $35, it’s more expensive than the cheap ones you’ll find on Amazon, but it should last way longer, and simply be a better device all-around.
You should be sanitizing your kitchen equipment after you wash it, and these strips are an easy and effective way to make sure your sanitization solution is at a level of 100 PPM.
However, you likely only need to buy these if an inspector requires you to test each batch of solution. Otherwise, you can just trust that 1 tbsp bleach to 1 gallon of water will get you an effective solution.
And if you can sanitize everything in your dishwasher, you don’t need to create a solution (or need test strips) at all!
If you make acid or acidified foods (jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, sauces, etc), they likely need to be at a pH of 4.6 or below.
As long as you are using tried-and-true recipes (such as from a Ball Book), you can trust that your products will be safe.
However, a few states require you to test each batch, and as long as you are producing products that are very acidic (4.1 pH or below), using pH test strips like these is likely the easiest and least expensive way of meeting that requirement.
If you have a borderline product (between 4.1 and 4.6), you will need to use an accurate pH meter to test it.