NSF Certified: What does it stand for, and why do we care?

NSF Certified: What does it stand for, and why do we care?

We’re going to discuss NSF as it relates to the foodservice industry. This has absolutely nothing to do with Non-Sufficient Funds in banking. What it does concern is the organization formerly known as the National Sanitation Foundation. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get down to business.

Founded in 1944, the foundation’s primary focus was on sanitation. Over the years, they took on additional responsibilities and covered territories around the globe. It got to the point where their name didn’t properly represent their services, and in 1990 the National Sanitation Foundation became NSF International. We should note that the letters “NSF” no longer represent specific words or phrases.

Commercial equipment that is deemed NSF Certified means it as been reviewed, tested, certified and verified for acceptance across the United States, Europe and other international markets. As a result, these items receive the NSF logo—giving them guaranteed regulatory clearance. It’s basically a universal seal of approval, signifying compliance to mandatory requirements, testing by an independent third party and abiding by the industry’s highest standards. NSF certification is definitely a good thing to have.

Chef Doug Schonfeld of Chefs’ Toys states “Our customers look for NSF products frequently. It is very important to be in compliance with the health department and to be utilizing equipment or small wares that are certified to be in compliance with all city, state, and national foodservice codes.”

Over 75 standards have been created for restaurant foodservice equipment. These include requirements for product performance, material safety and construction. For example, Standard 51 “establishes minimum public health and sanitation requirements for materials and finishes used in the manufacture of commercial foodservice equipment (think stock pots, beverage dispensers and broilers) and its components.” Standard 7 goes over similar requirements for “the materials, design, manufacture, construction and performance of commercial refrigerators and freezers”. We would go on, but you get the idea.

Need advice on finding NSF certified equipment that best fits your operation? The Chefs’ Toys team is happy to assist. That’s what they’re there for.

For more information on NSF, visit www.NSF.org.