Housewares and kitchen appliances get their own comprehensive, independent quality certification program that incorporates regulatory and retailer requirements

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and CHICAGO — NSF International, an independent global organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries, has launched the NSF Home Product Certification Program  to test and certify home kitchen products and appliances.  NSF announced the new program today at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, Ill.

Product categories covered by the NSF Home Products Certification program include coffee makers, slow cookers, blenders, food storage containers, cookware, and more.   NSF regulatory and public health experts worked with retailers, manufacturers and regulatory experts to develop protocols for each product category, which incorporate all relevant regulatory and retailer requirements. NSF’s scientists and engineers then verify that a product complies with the protocol by evaluating its quality, performance and material safety. The process also includes a packaging review and testing to substantiate performance and marketing claims, and an audit of the facility in which the product is made. Products that comply with the requirements will bear the NSF “Certified for Home Use” certification mark. 

Many retailers and industry groups are already using the NSF Home Product Certification program including Costco, Jarden Consumer Solutions and the Cookware Manufacturers Association. 

Jarden Consumer Solutions’ Crock-Pot® Slow Cooker, Oster® Blender and Mr. Coffee® Coffee Maker are the first products to earn NSF Home Product Certification.  

NSF International has developed national standards for commercial foodservice equipment and tested and certified equipment to ensure it complies with these standards since its founding in 1944.  Most state and local health departments now require that food service establishments use equipment certified to these NSF standards. NSF also led the development of national standards for products that come in contact with or treat drinking water, such as pipes, plumbing and water treatment systems/filters, and NSF tests and certifies products to those standards.

The new NSF Home Product Certification builds on NSF’s protocol development, testing and certification experience to help ensure the safety and quality of consumer products and appliances used in and around the home. In addition to providing consumers added assurance regarding the safety and performance of their appliances, the program enables manufacturers to streamline regulatory and retailer-specific product specifications into one set of testing requirements, which helps increase a product’s speed to market and can reduce overall testing costs.

"Many consumers may not realize the food served in restaurants and cafeterias is prepared using NSF Certified food equipment. NSF commercial food equipment certification is widely accepted, and in most cases required, because it demonstrates the materials are safe and won’t leach harmful contaminants into the food, the product design allows it to be cleaned properly, and the equipment performs as advertised. The NSF Home Product Certification Program provides retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to apply similar safety and quality principles to their home kitchen products while expediting the product approval process," said Craig Wilson, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Costco.

"The new NSF Home Product Certification Program benefits suppliers because it uses a single set of transparent and retailer-accepted testing requirements. Streamlining this process saves manufacturers time and costs associated with meeting multiple retailer requirements while verifying product quality for both retailers and suppliers," said Tony Satcher, Director of Sales Operations, Team Costco, Jarden Consumer Solutions.

Consumers are more safety-minded than ever, and 81 percent of those surveyed by NSF stated they preferred to purchase products with independently tested certification marks over those without.  In fact, 86 percent said they prefer buying from retailers that stock independently tested and certified products. Many retailers and industry groups have already begun recognizing, testing and certifying products to the NSF Home Product Certification program including Costco, Jarden and the Cookware Manufacturers Association.

"We believe that the NSF Home Product Certification program will benefit manufacturers, retailers and consumers in helping to standardize product testing across channels, helping to control testing costs and reduce lead time between design, production and shipment of product," said Doug Reigle, COO of Regal Ware and the 2012 President of the Cookware Manufacturers Association.

"Retail buyers, designers and quality assurance managers can now rely on an independent certification program to verify a product’s regulatory compliance, marketing claims and durability under repeated use," said Sarah Krol, General Manager of Consumer Products, NSF International. "Consumers can now look for the NSF Certified for Home Use™ mark on products and know that it has been evaluated by a credible third-party public health organization against a rigorous set of quality, performance and material safety requirements."

How the NSF Home Product Certification Program Works

The NSF Home Products Certification Program is a testing and certification program designed to ensure the performance, quality and material safety of home products. The new program builds on NSF’s almost 70-year history in writing national product safety and quality standards and protocols, and testing and certifying products to these standards.  NSF scientists and engineers, consumer product safety experts, manufacturers and retailers, worked together to develop a rigorous set of product requirements (protocols) for each product category. The protocols also encompass all existing regulatory requirements.

Product testing can be conducted at NSF’s global laboratories, including the NSF Shanghai Testing Laboratory in China, which enables companies importing goods from Asia to test prior to shipping.

  • NSF Home Product Certification includes: product testing and assessment to verify the safety of materials used to manufacture the product
  • an evaluation of the product’s durability and design, including label reviews and testing to substantiate performance and marketing claims
  • an initial and annual audit of the manufacturing facility to verify consistency of manufacturing processes to program requirements

Products meeting the testing requirements and passing the facility audit will bear the NSF Certified for Home Use™ certification mark.  Regulators and consumers alike look for the NSF Mark to verify that a product has been independently evaluated and complies with specific standards for safety, quality or performance. Certified products also are included in NSF International’s online listings, making it easy for retailers, suppliers and consumers to find certified products.

Kitchen appliances and housewares certified to the NSF Home Product Certification program are evaluated against a set of criteria that incorporate the many regulations and standards specific to consumer products.

The new NSF Home Product Certification Program is part of NSF’s Consumer Products Division, which also offers private label assurance, specification development and toy testing. The NSF Private Label Assurance program verifies that private label products meet retailers’ quality standards, are comparable to national brands and comply with consumer product regulations.

To inquire about becoming certified under the NSF Home Product Certification Program™ contact Ken Ash, Director of Business Development at homeproducts@nsf.org, (+1) 678-461-7986 or visit nsfhomeproducts.org.

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with NSF Consumer Products division General Manager Sarah Krol at the International Home and Housewares Show or by phone, contact Greta Houlahan at 734-913-5723 or houlahan@nsf.org.

About NSF International

NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF International developed the first standards for foodservice equipment in 1944, beginning with sanitization standards for soda fountain and luncheonette equipment. Since then, NSF has developed more than 75 American National Standards for a wide range of consumer and commercial products.  NSF also developed the American National Standards for all materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water, including water filters. In 1990, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water product advisory program with these NSF standards. Today, most plumbing codes require that pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings be certified to NSF standards.

The NSF Consumer Products Division builds on NSF’s expertise in national standards development, testing and certification to help ensure the safety and quality of consumer products and appliances used in and around the home. These include children’s products, bottled water and beverages, nutritional/dietary supplements, private label goods, personal care products and home appliances (washers, dryers and dishwashers).  Additional NSF services include environmental/sustainable product claims verification, safety audits for the food and water industries, and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

About Jarden Consumer Solutions

Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS), a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, is a leading consumer products company that designs, manufactures and markets, nationally and internationally, a diverse portfolio of consumer products under world-class brands such as Bionaire®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, skybar®, Sunbeam® and VillaWare®. JCS is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, and employs more than 10,000 people in 15 countries. More information about JCS can be found on the Web at www.jardencs.com.

Crock-Pot®, Oster®, and Mr. Coffee® are registered trademarks of Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a/ Jarden Consumer Solutions.

CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org