A control solution for use with a photometric blood glucose strip contains glucose in an aqueous suspension of carbon black. The control solution mimics blood when applied to a whole blood glucose test strip, which is then inserted into a meter. A meter reading within a predetermined range indicates that meter and strip are operating satisfactorily. Preferably the control solution is buffered to a neutral pH and includes chloride ion to provide a stable end point for the glucose reaction. Depending on the glucose concentration, the solution checks meter and strip operation at high, low, and normal blood glucose levels.