Frequently Asked Questions
What is NSF Certification?
- NSF Food Equipment Certification is a product level certification that addresses the acceptable sanitation requirements for equipment and materials intended for commercial foodservice. NSF Certification is not a one-time activity. The certification programs require regular on-site inspections of the manufacturing facilities and periodic re-testing, as required by policies.
What do the letters "NSF" stand for?
- The letters in our organization's name do not actually stand for any specific words today. They were derived from our founding name dating back to the 1940s, which was the National Sanitation Foundation. Our name was changed to NSF International in the early 1990s when the National Sanitation Foundation and NSF Testing Labs were merged.
Does my product have to be NSF Certified?
- NSF does not regulate or require that your product be NSF Certified. However, regulatory agencies, end users and buyers often require NSF Certification to ensure that the products purchased for their facilities comply with public health standards.
What are the steps to getting my product certified?
What are the benefits of NSF Certification?
How can I obtain current NSF Listings of certified food equipment products?
What if I can't find a certified company and/or product on your online listings?
- NSF's online listings search existing company names, product names, and model numbers. If your search provides no results, try some of the following tips:
- Product Search: Try synonyms (e.g., knives vs. cutlery). Try singular and plural (e.g., knife vs. knives). When searching for materials try both the full material name and abbreviations(e.g., PE and polyethylene)
- Manufacturer: Use only part of the manufacturer's name. For example if the company name has the word "metal" in it, only enter "metal" in the manufacturer box.
- If you still have problems finding a certified product or do not find the listing you need, please contact us
What does the label, "This equipment is intended for the storage or display of packaged products only," on refrigeration mean?
- Packaged food is defined as bottled, canned, cartoned, securely bagged, or securely wrapped in a sealed container. The interior of a storage refrigerator is defined as food zone. However, refrigerators intended only for the storage of packaged food would not have any food products in contact with interior surfaces. As a result, the interiors of these refrigerators are evaluated to ensure compliance with splash zone material and design requirements which are less strict than the food zone requirements.
What does the label, "This display refrigerator is not for the display of potentially hazardous foods," on refrigeration mean?
- Foods that are nonpotentially hazardous do not need to be kept at any particular temperature. Therefore, these refrigerators are not performance tested and may not be able to keep potentially hazardous foods at safe temperatures.
What does the label, "This equipment is intended for the storage and display of non-potentially hazardous, bottled or canned products only," on refrigeration mean?
- A refrigerator bearing this label is intended to only store and display non-potentially hazardous beverages that are bottled or canned such as soft drinks, beer, or wine. Products that are potentially hazardous such as milk would not be intended to be stored in a refrigerator bearing this label.
What is the difference between NSF Standard 184 - Residential Dishwashers and NSF Standard 3 - Commercial Warewashing Equipment?
- Using many of the same principles from NSF/ANSI Standard 3 for Commercial Warewashing Equipment, NSF developed NSF/ANSI Standard 184 for Residential Dishwashers. While this standard mandates the same acceptance criteria related to soil removal and sanitization in Standard 3, there are significant differences in the design criteria. Design and construction requirements in NSF/ANSI 184 do not comply with the FDA Model Food Code. Residential dishwashers are not intended to perform at restaurant capacities, and for this reason, NSF/ANSI 184 does not have a requirement for a minimum final rinse temperature. Instead, residential units sanitize by maintaining a lower dish surface temperature for a longer period of time. Both commercial and residential units are required to remove all visible soil and detergent from plates and glasses, and both must deliver a minimum of 3600 Heat Unit Equivalents (HUEs) at the surface of dishes to ensure adequate sanitization. Other important differences between NSF Certified residential and commercial machines include modes of operation and marking requirements. Commercial dishmachines sanitize automatically, but on residential dishwashers, the sanitation cycle is an option. The operator is often responsible for initiating the Sani-Rinse cycle by pushing a button on the front panel of the unit. Although a certified residential dishwasher does not perform identically to a commercial dishmachine, it effectively removes soil and sanitizes dishes. Regulators should be aware that although NSF/ANSI Standard 3 is similar to NSF/ANSI Standard 184, they are not analogous. NSF/ANSI Standard 184 should only be applied to residential equipment.
How do I file a complaint about a certified product?
- It is very simple. Download and fill out the product investigation form. Include as much information as possible. Relevant information includes the product description, location, model and/or serial number, and evidence of NSF Mark misuse.
How do I propose a change to a standard?
Is NSF a government organization?
- NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to public health safety and protection of the environment. As a "third-party" provider of certification services, NSF is not a government agency and is not controlled by industry. This independent status guarantees that the equipment is tested and evaluated by a completely impartial agency.
How do California lead requirements affect my product?
- NSF can provide the testing required to help your company meet the California lead requirements. The legislation does not specify or define which products have to be compliant. The law's intent is to cover a broad range of products, and the manufacturer must determine whether or not their products require the low lead content certification. Please visit the legislation website directly for additional details on this legislation.
If you have any additional questions. Please contact us.