NSF International logo
|Motto||The public health and safety company|
|Type||Testing, inspection and certification|
|Headquarters||Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States|
|Kevan P. Lawlor|
NSF International is a product testing, inspection and certification organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
NSF International was founded in 1944 from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) to standardize sanitation and food safety requirements. The process established to develop NSF International's first standards regarding the sanitation of soda fountain and luncheonette equipment, became the process by which NSF International developed other public health and safety standards. To date, NSF has developed more than 80 public health and safety American National Standards. As NSF expanded services beyond sanitation and into new international markets, the name was changed to NSF International in 1990.
NSF International is an accredited, independent third-party certification body that tests and certifies products to verify they meet these public health and safety standards. Products that meet these standards bear the NSF mark.
NSF International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments. NSF operates more than 165,000 square feet (15,300 m2) of laboratory space and serves companies in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 1,200-plus staff includes microbiologists, toxicologists, chemists, engineers, environmental and public health professionals.
The NSF Food Safety Division provides accredited services across all supply chain sectors, from agriculture, produce, processing, distribution and dairy, to seafood, retail and restaurants. Services include Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification (SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., FSSC, IFS, Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC)); Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification; auditing, consulting and technical services; HACCP validation and inspection; and organic and gluten-free certification through QAI (Quality Assurance International). NSF Food Safety also certifies foodservice equipment, nonfood compounds and bottled water/beverages. Many food codes in the U.S. require food equipment used in commercial establishments that is certified to NSF commercial food equipment standards.
The NSF Water Division certifies products that come into contact with drinking water, such as plumbing components, water treatment chemicals and drinking water filters, as well as pool and spa equipment. NSF led the development of American National Standards for all materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water to help protect public health and the environment and minimize adverse health effects. In 1990, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water product advisory program with these NSF standards. Today, most plumbing codes require certification to NSF standards for pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings. Recently introduced programs include HACCP for Building Water Systems.
The NSF Health Sciences Division offers training and education, consulting, auditing, good manufacturing practice (GMP) and good laboratory practice (GLP) testing, certification, R&D and regulatory guidance for the pharmaceutical, medical device and dietary supplement industries throughout the product lifecycle. It also supplies pharmaceutical secondary reference standards, traceable to USP and EP standards. NSF wrote the only accredited American National Standard (NSF/ANSI 173) that verifies the health and safety of dietary supplements and also tests and certifies products to this standard. Additionally, NSF offers ISO 13485 registration for medical devices and CE marking.
The NSF Consumer Products Division tests and certifies consumer products and appliances used in and around the home including home appliances, cookware, bakeware, small kitchen electronics, bottled water and beverages, nutritional and dietary supplements, private label goods and personal care products.
NSF Sustainability provides standards development, certification and claims validation for sustainably produced commercial and consumer products such as personal care products, carpet, flooring, fabrics and other building materials; and process verification services such as greenhouse gas verification, environmental footprinting, and environmental management systems certifications.
NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR) provides management systems certifications to internationally accepted standards for quality assurance and environmental protection for the automotive, aerospace, medical and manufacturing industries (e.g., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS9100, etc.).
NSF maintains laboratories in North America, South America, Europe and China. NSF's laboratories are accredited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Standards Council of Canada. NSF laboratories are ISO 17025 certified (testing and calibration), and provide a wide range of testing, certification and technical services for the home appliances and consumer product industries (e.g., beverage quality, food service equipment, nutritional supplement, drinking water treatment units and automotive aftermarket parts); retail food, growers, processors and seafood industries; pipes, plumbing components and treatment chemicals for the water industry; and analytical testing for the supplement and pharmaceutical industry.
NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop American National Standards. NSF standards are developed, maintained and revised by the committee ballot system, similar to that used by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ASTM. The committees consist of representatives of groups affected by the scope of the standard such as industry representatives, public health/regulatory officials, users/consumer representatives and other relevant interest groups. For instance, for Standard 61, Drinking Water Systems Components - Health Effects, the committee consists of manufacturers of plumbing parts, material manufacturers (plastics, metals, etc.), toxicologists, state regulatory officials, etc. Any updates to standards related to testing requirements are vetted through lab testing, and balloting ensures majority rule.
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