NSF International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Formation1944 (1944)
TypeTesting, inspection, certification, training, and consulting
Legal statusNot-for-profit
PurposeImprove and protect human health worldwide.
HeadquartersAnn Arbor, Michigan, United States
Region served
150 countries
Pedro Sancha
1,200 (2011)
NSF International headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan

NSF (an initialism for National Sanitation Foundation) is a product testing, inspection, certification organization with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. NSF also offers consulting and training services worldwide.


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 legal name was changed to NSF International in 1990.

NSF 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.[1]

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+ staff (located worldwide – including N & S America / Europe / Africa / Asia / Oceania) includes microbiologists, toxicologists, chemists, engineers, food safety specialists, environmental, food scientists and public health professionals.[2]


NSF certified stamped x50CrMov15 stainless steel chef's knife with TPE grip

NSF's Food Division is a food safety and assurance service provider that assists businesses in the agriculture, food processing, food equipment, restaurant and retail industries. Services include product certification, consulting, training and technical services, supply chain food safety and retail and store safety. For example, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification (SQF, BRC, GLOBALG.A.P., FSSC, IFS, Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC)) HACCP validation and inspection; and organic and gluten-free certification through QAI (Quality Assurance International).[3] NSF's Food division also certified foodservice equipment, consumer products, nonfood compounds, bottled water and packaged ice. Through consulting, training, technical services and retail support services, NSF helps businesses across the food industry by protecting food and people throughout the supply chain.[4]

NSF's Health Sciences division offers a range of health sciences services, including clinical research, product certification, training, and consulting. Amarex [5] is an NSF company that provides a range of clinical product development services. Health science product certification includes dietary supplement/cosmetic/OTC Good Manufacturing Practices certification, dietary supplement contents testing and certification, and NSF Certified for Sport®[6] dietary supplement certification.

NSF International is the North American leader for certifying Class II biological safety cabinets (BSCs) to NSF/ANSI 49: Biosafety Cabinetry. Required by most hospitals and research laboratories, the standard tests and evaluates the design, construction and performance of BSCs requiring biosafety level 1, 2, 3 or 4 containment. In addition, NSF operates two accreditation programs that evaluate the proficiency of BSC field certifiers. The enhanced program is for those living and working in North America. It represents the premier credential for certifying Class II BSCs intended for North American hospitals and research facilities. The basic program is for field certifiers living and working outside of North America.

The NSF Consumer Products Division tests and certifies consumer products and appliances used in and around the home including home appliances,[7] cookware, bakeware, small kitchen electronics, bottled water and beverages, nutritional and dietary supplements, private label goods and personal care products.[8]

NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR) an NSF company, offers certifications for information security (e.g. ISO 27001, ISO 20000-1), specialty services (automotive and aerospace) and management systems that includes environmental, occupational health and safety standards).[9]

Education and Training in the food safety,[10] water, health sciences, consumer product and management systems certification industries is offered to professionals in these service and production industries.[11]


NSF maintains laboratories in North America, South America,[12] Europe and China. NSF's laboratories are accredited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. NSF laboratories are ISO 17025 certified (testing and calibration). They provide a wide range of testing and support certification efforts and technical services for the home appliances and consumer product industries (e.g., beverage quality, food service equipment, nutritional supplement, and filtration systems); 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.[13]

Standards development[edit]

Accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the Standards Council of Canada,[14] NSF facilitates the development and continuous improvement of technical standards, protocols and guidance documents. NSF standards are developed, maintained and revised by the committee ballot system, similar to that used by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ASTM.[15] To ensure balanced input, the committees consist of stakeholders affected by the scope of the standard such as industry representatives, public health/regulatory officials, users/consumer representatives and other relevant interest groups. Any updates to standards related to testing requirements are vetted through round-robin testing at multiple labs to help ensure repeatability, and balloting ensures majority rule.[16] The NSF Council of Public Health Consultants provides final ratification of any balloted change to a standard to help ensure the NSF mission of improving and protecting public health is upheld.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "NSF Mark". NSF.org. NSF International.
  2. ^ International, NSF. "NSF's Mission and History". NSF's Mission and History. NSF International. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  3. ^ International, NSF. "NSF's Quality Assurance International Certification for Organic Foods". Organic Food Certification. NSF International. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  4. ^ International, NSF. "NSF's Food Services". NSF's Food Services. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  5. ^ "Amarex | Clinical Trials & Clinical Research Organization". www.amarexcro.com. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Certified for Sport®". nsfsport.com. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  7. ^ "NSF International Launches New NSF Home Product Certification Program". Grocery Headquarters. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  8. ^ "NSF Consumer Product Safety Division". NSF International. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  9. ^ "NSF International Strategic Registrations". NSF International. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  10. ^ "NSF International Training Programs Now ANSI Accredited". Quality Assurance & Food Safety. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  11. ^ "NSF Training and Education Programs". NSF International.
  12. ^ "NSF International Acquires the INASSA Group". Nutraceuticals World. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  13. ^ "NSF Laboratories". NSF International. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  14. ^ "NSF International". Standards Council of Canada – Conseil canadien des normes. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  15. ^ "Standards Developing Organizations:NSF". American National Standards Institute. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  16. ^ "NSF Standards and Publications". NSF International. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.