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How to properly sterilize, sanitize and fill 4oz PET plastic squeeze bottles?

plastic squeeze PET bottle

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#1 ExitPlan



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Posted 20 January 2019 - 04:43 PM

Hi there! I am currently in the process of turning my at-home fermented hot sauce business into a legitimate operation, and as with many of us here, have run into a TON of questions as to how to do certain things the proper, legal and safe way.


My question today is: How do I properly sterilize, sanitize and fill 4oz plastic squeeze bottles with fermented hot sauce?


These are the bottles I am currently using at home and share with friends and family as gifts:



I know 5oz glass woozy is sort of like the industry standard, but I would really love to make the bottles I have chosen work for me in the long run as I grow and scale the business. I can do 5oz glass bottles, but I really enjoy the light weight of these 4oz plastic bottles as well as the ergonomics and user experience of squeezing exact amounts of sauce on your food (I am a UX designer by trade, so I just naturally think about user experience with products lol)


My hot sauce is fermented and then cooked down. Exact temps for this are not defined just yet, but I will be finding that out soon. pH is around 3.3 to 3.4 when all is said and done. I want to make sure I figure all of this out while I am still fine-tuning the process at home before I pull the trigger and rent out a commercial kitchen and get the CDPH involved.





Edited by ExitPlan, 20 January 2019 - 04:46 PM.

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#2 salsalady


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Posted 22 January 2019 - 07:40 PM

It's kind of a chicken-v-egg question. I say that because if you get your recipe and bottle sanitation all sorted out, your inspector may require the sauce to be heated to 180f minimum, which will probably make the plastic bottles unusable. All the plastic bottles I know of cannot take the heat. They melt when filled or deform as they cool. Most small time sauce makers who have tried plastic bottles end up going back to glass.

I would suggest working with your licensing people first to determine if the sauce has to be hot packed. If they give the ok to cook the sauce, then let it cool before filling, that would be great for you!

Back to the original question, look at some no rinse sanitizers that beer and winemakers use. Check them out to make sure it is ok for plastic. Maybe try to contact the bottle mfg and ask them what they recommend.

Worst comes around and it has to be hot packed, there are lots of other bottle shapes that people use other than the woozy.

Good luck and have fun! Keep us posted.


Edited by salsalady, 23 January 2019 - 05:02 PM.

The Chile Addict's prayer-"Lord, grant me the wisdom to know it will be too hot, the courage to eat it anyway, and the serenity to accept the pain that follows. Amen"

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