Does Restaurant Equipment Need To Be NSF Certified

If you are familiar with different restaurant equipment and supplies, then you are probably familiar with NSF International, formerly the National Sanitation Foundation. When considering a new piece of equipment for your restaurant, there are both NSF-certified equipment and those that don’t include it. It is no wonder that the question comes to mind and why would there be products without certification, do restaurant equipment need to be NSF certified or not?

Generally, restaurant equipment needs to be NSF certified, however, this does vary between areas, therefore you should always inspect your local health regulations before purchasing new equipment. Finally, most restaurants use only NSF-certified products due to the superior health and safety standards.

All in all, be sure to keep yourself up to date with the subject because the last thing you would need is the health inspectors coming in and demanding explanations, etc. Also, carefully inspect your insurance’s policies because when a piece of equipment gets broken, some insurances aren’t required to compensate the losses if the equipment wasn’t appropriately certified.

There are many more to go through when talking about NSF so first, let’s try to understand what does NSF actually means in the restaurant business, and what does it include.

What Does NSF Mean for Restaurants

When it comes to NSF certification in restaurant equipment and supplies, it’s really important to know what does it mean. In general, NSF means that the equipment that has certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, and that it has been tested and approved by the most respected non-profit organization of the whole restaurant world. NSF certification is the mark of superior quality and safe equipment so you and your customers can be sure of the highest quality possible.

Is NSF Certification Important

Yes, NSF certification is extremely important because it meets all the standard requirements. When using a product that carries an NSF certificate you can be sure that it has been individually tested thoroughly by professionals and engineers that have the needed standards and regulations in mind. Also, when the specific product is tested the NSF isn’t the only one present, a third party member is always present in the reviewing and objectively monitors the whole process.

Other NSF certification benefits are that it offers a huge marketing value and immediately prunes the competition that doesn’t bear the label. Lastly, it really shows to everyone that the restaurant cares about mutual health and safety, therefore giving the restaurant a way better reputation.

NSF International was founded in 1944 and is currently operating in more than 180 countries with the highest professionals in every aspect of the organization so it’s safe to say they know what they are doing.

How Products Become NSF Certified

NSF International has made specific criteria that a certain product group must include if they wish to pass the certification process. In this process, NSF runs tests in order to verify the durability, design, and safety of each aspect of the product. The way NSF does it is by testing the product’s functions thoroughly, inspecting the manufactures labeling, assembly, and using instructions so everything is in order in those areas, and testing everything that the manufacturer claims it includes. If that wasn’t all, NSF International does annual visits to the manufacturing facilities and observes the whole construction process from start to finish so that everything is truly and thoroughly certain and safe.

What Products are NSF Certified

NSF International is no small organization and they cover a huge variety of different products. They cover kitchen products such as cookware, utensils, knives, storage containers, home textiles among other small items. Large appliances such as food processors, mixers, sinks, exhaust hoods, and everything between are covered as well.

Why was NSF Started

NSF International was started in 1944 as National Sanitation Foundation because the U.S didn’t have any sanitation standards at the time and because consumers were concerned about the methods and safety of the restaurant and the appliances they use. The concerns are forever growing and more eyes look at those things today more than ever.

In fact, a survey made by the NSF showed that 53% of consumers are concerned about the safety and quality of commercial kitchen appliances, and 58% of consumers are concerned about the materials and coatings of used cookware.

As NSF International has grown to the extent it is today, consumers and restaurant owners can rest easy knowing that the best quality equipment is in use.


If you aren’t certain of what the regulations are in your country, state, or area be sure to find out before purchasing any new kitchen equipment in order to save yourself for future hassle and disappointment.

In general opinion, regardless of your area’s regulations on the NSF certification subject, it’s better to get proper equipment in the first time because it will ensure that you will be running a healthy and safe operation so employees and customers can be proud of the restaurant. As a bonus, you will most likely save money in the long term if you get quality equipment that has been inspected, rather than purchasing low-quality equipment that will get broken within years.

If you wish to find more out about NSF International and its line of work, you can do so here. All things considered, stay safe and healthy!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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