When you’re in the commercial food service industry, or are looking to buy restaurant supplies or equipment, you might come across a little round blue NSF certification mark next to some of the products. You may ask yourself “what does this mean?” or “how may this benefit my business?” In this article, I will explain what the NSF is, how a product becomes NSF certified, and how an NSF certified product is beneficial to a business.
What Is the NSF?
Millions of people take the safety of their water or food for granted on a daily basis because the products they use do not meet the strict standards for public health protection. The NSF, which stands for National Sanitation Foundation, is an independent public health and safety organization whose goal was to promote public health by creating standards for food safety and sanitation. Choosing an NSF certified product will let you know the product’s company follows the strict standards and procedures required by the NSF.
There are a couple standards need to be met before a food service countertop can be NSF certified. The countertop must pass numerous NSF testing for design, constructions, safety, and product performance. These test will guarantee that harmful chemicals won’t seep into and contaminate the food or harbor bacteria. Choosing NSF certified countertops will deliver safe products to customers. In return, gaining the customers’ trust with safe products will strengthen the name and reputation of the food service.
What Is the NSF Certification Process?
In order to be an NSF certified food service equipment, the product must be nonabsorbent, level, corrosion-resistant, effortless to clean, and damage resistant, among other things to consider. The products go through a seven-step process in order to be tested to meet NSF criteria:
- Application and information submission to NSF International
- Product evaluation
- Product testing in a lab
- Manufacturing facility inspection, confirmation of production and product sampling
- Review and acceptance of test results
- Sign contract and list the products
- Annual plant inspections and retesting to maintain NSF certification
After the seven steps have been completed, the product is now certified with the NSF symbol to ensure buyers have bought certified products.
How Is an NSF Certified Countertop Beneficial?
The NSF does their best to help maintain food safety standards and promote public health by certifying products used in commercial kitchens or home businesses. Choosing NSF listed products will help boost inspection scores, reduces the chance of foodborne illnesses, and cleaning is often easier and more efficient. Making sure your countertop or other products you use to serve your guest are completely safe and sanitary will keep your business open and provide your business with the health inspector’s good graces.
It is worth putting in time and money to reduce the risk that your customers could become ill at your establishment. If a customer contracted a foodborne illness at your establishment, it can cost you money and your reputation. Some of the negative effects a foodborne illness can cause are possible lawsuits, higher insurance premiums, a decrease in sales and customers, and negative media exposure. When looking at the cost of an NSF listed product versus a non-NSF listed product, the benefits certainly outweigh the cost.
In conclusion, building a food service establishment can be complicated. However, Labtech can help by providing you with an NSF approved countertop so your business may avoid some of the risks associated with not have an NSF certified product. If you have any questions about our NSF countertops or other furnishings, don’t hesitate to contact us at Labtech.