Foodservice Industry

What Is The NSF International?

When shopping for equipment and supplies in the restaurant industry, sometimes you’ll see a round blue NSF certification mark. You can’t help but wonder, what exactly does NSF International do?

Products that are NSF certified can have a lasting impact on your restaurant. Purchasing products that are NSF listed help your restaurant maintain a high level of food safety and protect your reputation. Here is a brief history of NSF international and why it’s important.

History of The NSF

NSF International was founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to help standardize sanitation and food safety at a time when the United States had no national sanitation standards. As the National Sanitation Foundation expanded services beyond sanitation and became a global public health safety organization, they changed their name to NSF International in 1990. NSF International is widely recognized around the world for its scientific and technical expertise in health and environmental sciences. 

Today, NSF international offers its services in over 170 countries. Still headquartered in Michigan, they are committed to protecting and improving human health worldwide. They have more than 140 currently active public health standards and independent testing protocols.

The Certification

Any products that are listed as NSF certified improve the quality of any product. Seeing this certification on a product lets you know that a company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF. The marking is specific to the type of product it appears on — from dietary supplements to water filters and dishwashers to plumbing components, pool equipment, and more.

Products bearing a certification mark meet all standard requirements, including product testing and regular inspections to verify products to continue to comply with the standard. The certification mark provides assurance that a product was impartially reviewed to established standards or guidelines. It confirms that product labeling and claims have been objectively verified by a trusted third party. Bearing the NSF mark differentiates a product from the competition, offering a market advantage.

Products that have been labeled with the NSF certification mark will feature their official logo stamped onto the product or featured on the product’s packaging. Examples of this can be a knife that can have a blue logo printed onto the blade or a spatula that can have the certification on its packaging. 

Overall, products that are certified have been inspected and reviewed by a team of professionals that are dedicated to public health and safety. Having these certified products in your restaurant may increase your chances of passing a health inspection because they’re safe and sanitary.

A blue logo of the NSF certification.

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