Test Strips for QUAT and Chlorine Sanitizers
Federal, state, and local health regulations require that users of Quaternary ammonium sanitizer solutions have appropriate test kits available to verify the strength of sanitizer solutions. An accurate and affordable way to measure concentration of Quaternary ammonia compounds in sanitizer solutions is by using quick response QAC or QUAT test strips.
Using chlorine sanitizers? As with Quaternary sanitizers health regulations also require users of chlorine based sanitizer solutions to have test kits available to verify the strength of the chlorine. You can use chlorine test papers for this. Chlorine specific test papers will NOT work for testing anything that uses Quaternary Ammonium as the active ingredient.
Why Test Sanitizing Solutions?
Commercial sanitizers and their respective test strips are a requirement of health departments across the United States. Test strips allow you to detect if the chemical sanitizing solution is the required concentration to meet local health regulations. Chlorine-based sanitizers, quaternary ammonia compounds (QAC), and iodine-based sanitizers are the three most common chemical sanitizers used in the food service industry. The required concentration of each of these varies by state.
It’s important to keep a good supply of the right sanitizing solution test kits in your restaurant. Inspectors will often ask for your test strips to prove that you keep them readily available. They will also have you test the sanitizing solution to make sure you know how, or they will test it themselves. It’s important to make sure all staff know how to correctly use the required test strips.
The requirement for test strips may not always be critical in all states, but if you violate it, it will most definitely be marked on the inspection form – don’t take any chances!
Some health departments may specify how often you should check the concentration, and others may not. If it isn’t specified, be absolutely sure to check your solution at least twice a day to ensure the proper concentration at all times. You need to test sanitizers for every application you are using. This includes solutions in buckets for wiping cloths, the 3 compartment sink, and also the low temperature dishwasher.