As a professional Water Bottler, POU dealer, or distributor, you are probably already familiar with NSF, or maybe you are new to the business, and NSF is new to you.
Either way, you are bound to have customers with questions about what that NSF mark means. That is why we decided to include a post on our blog that might not only answer some of your lingering questions about the NSF, but you could share with your customers to easily answer theirs.
NSF, What Does It Stand For?
In any industry, the NSF stands for Quality and Safety. But literally speaking, the initials “NSF” stand for National Sanitation Foundation.
What Is the National Sanitation Foundation?
The National Sanitation Foundation is a non-profit organization foundation that was founded in 1944. Their mission was and continues to be, to protect and improve global human health.
To achieve this mission, the NSF has created food safety and sanitation standards that promote public health. In practical terms, the NSF is an accredited, independent third-party who tests and certifies products to verify these products meet defined public health and safety standards.
NSF Has Set the Standards
Although no mandate says that all products touching a customer’s food or water should be NSF certified, most national chains seek out NSF certified products.
This is because most current health codes, federal, state, and local regulations are based on current NSF standards. If it’s marked NSF, then the buyer, whether they are a reseller or food operator, can trust that the product is safe and deliver that safety and quality on to their customers.
What Does the NSF Mark Mean?
The majority of products that carry NSF certification bear an NSF mark. If a product displays an NSF certification mark has been “NSF certified” or “NSF listed.”
You may have noticed that there are a few versions of the NSF mark. That is because each mark is specific to the type of product it appears on. NSF marks can appear on a wide variety of products, from bottled water to pool equipment.
You may find the mark on the product itself, on the product packaging or in the literature that accompanies the product. Whenever you see an NSF mark on a product, it means that
- The manufacturer of the foodservice product uses only FDA approved raw materials.
- This product passed numerous NSF testing for material safety, design, construction, and product performance.
- Harmful chemicals won’t seep into and contaminate your customer’s food or beverages.
- The product is commercial dishwasher safe and is not likely to harbor bacteria.
- An impartial review using established criteria or guidelines has been conducted.
- A trusted third party has objectively reviewed all product labeling and claims.
Why Would You Get an NSF Certification for Your Product?
If you are in the process of deciding whether getting an NSF certification would be a good investment for one of your products, consider these six things.
1. Differentiates Your Product
The NSF mark differentiates your product from your competitors’. The weight it carries offers an advantage in the market.
2. Offers Proof
The NSF mark is proof your organization is committed to:
3. Shows Your Dedication
The NSF mark is proof your product is backed by a team of professionals who are dedicated to public health and safety. This team of professionals is recognized in over 170 countries around the world.
4. Give You Peace
The NSF mark brings you peace of mind because you know your products adhere to food safety regulations.
5. Free of Chemicals
The NSF mark is an instant guarantee to customers your products are free of harmful chemicals.
6. Give You Confidence
The NSF mark garners confidence and trust in your brand by customers.
The NSF Certification Process
There are many different types of certifications. Each certification type has its own process. The process also depends on the product/line, process, or service is certified.
Even though the details may vary, there are generally seven basic steps products go through to receive an NSF mark.
- The company submits an application and product information.
- The foundation evaluates the product.
- A lab tests the product.
- NSF inspects the manufacturing facility, samples the product, and confirms the findings.
- NSF reviews the test results and accepts them.
- The companies sign the contract, and NSF lists the products.
- Plant inspections and re-testing occur annually.
Because the NSF certification process is so thorough, it can be costly. Testing a single product for NSF certification could start for as much as $1,500.
Why Choose a Product That Is NSF Certified?
Today, millions of people take the safety of their food, water, and consumer products for granted daily because the NSF has spent decades making sure the products meet strict standards for public health protection.
Choosing an NSF certified product assures you the company has complied with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF.
Not only do you know that the product has been thoroughly tested and its materials analyzed, but the company and the product will be consistently held accountable to these standards in the future.
NSF certification is not a one-time event. Regular on-site inspections of manufacturing facilities are required, as is consistent re-testing of products. This is to ensure that the products continue to meet the same high standards under which they were originally certified.
And if for some reason, a product fails to meet one or more certification criteria, NSF protects the public by enforcing actions like a product recall, public notification, or de-certification.
We are NSF Certified
At The Waterways Company, we have gone out of our way to make sure the required components and parts we use to manufacture dispensers are NSF certified.
We want you and your customers to feel safe in the knowledge that you are getting not only the highest quality of the product but the safest.
If you have any other questions about NSF certifications and what they mean, feel free to give us a call or email us.
We pride ourselves on excellent customer service throughout our relationship with you and are happy to help!