NSF International

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Blue circle with letters NSF
NSF Certification Mark
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]


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).[3] NSF Food Safety also certifies foodservice equipment, nonfood compounds and bottled water/beverages.[4]

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.[5]

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 United States Pharmacopeia and European Pharmacopoeia standards.[6]

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 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 aerospace, medical and manufacturing industries (e.g., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, AS9100, etc.).[9]

NSF Education and Training provides training and education for professionals in the food safety,[10] water, health sciences, consumer product and management systems certification 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 and the Standards Council of Canada.[13] 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, and drinking water treatment units); 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.[14]

Standards development[edit]

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.[15] 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.[16] What sets NSF apart from other standards developers is our Council of Public Health Consultants (CPHC). This group is the final ratification of any balloted change to a standard to help ensure the NSF mission of improving and protecting public health is upheld.


  1. ^ "NSF Mark". NSF.org. NSF International.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ International, NSF. "NSF's Mission and History". NSF's Mission and History. NSF International. Retrieved 27 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Water Certification and Testing". NSF. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  6. ^ "NSF Health Science-Consulting Services".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  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. ^ "Standards Council of Canada - Conseil canadien des normes". www.scc.ca. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  14. ^ "NSF Laboratories". NSF International. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  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.

External links[edit]