The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has specific commercial food equipment standards to help keep restaurant and commercial kitchen settings safe. When a kitchen setting is certified with the NSF, it receives credibility in the food equipment industry. Their website lists over 20 different types of equipment standards to keep in mind when considering your kitchen’s construction, design and operations.

Forensic sanitarian Robert W. Powitz, Ph.D., MPH, RS, CFSP compiled a few of the top NSF standards that every restaurant and commercial kitchen owner should keep in mind.

Food Equipment Terminology

Number: NSF/ANSI 170

Although laid out as a glossary, these NSF restaurant standards outline the different terms and definitions for NSF food equipment standards. This is especially useful for defining food zones and hazardous areas.

General Food Equipment Standards

Number: ANSI/NSF 2, NSF 2 Supplement and Criteria C-2

These three standards are all interrelated and detail the construction, design and materials used with fixed and moveable equipment. The documents are often used to determine the ease of cleaning and fabrication of equipment.

Food Equipment Materials

Number: ANSI/NSF 51

The ANSI/NSF standard 51 focuses on requirements for finishes and materials that are used when manufacturing commercial food equipment. This includes the actual equipment, as well as components like tubing, valves, and sealants.

Commercial Cooking, Rethermalization and Powered Hot Food Holding and Transport Equipment

Number: ANSI/NSF 4

This standard focuses on requirements for industrial cooking equipment such as ranges, griddles, steam and pressure cookers, toasters, ovens, broilers, hot food holding and transport cabinets, rethermalization equipment, and more.

How can you tell if your products are NSF certified?

The NSF offers an online listing feature that includes a product search. Here you can enter the following information to find out if your product is certified:

  • Product – by model, type or trade name
  • Manufacturer
  • Facility location
  • NSF standard – you have the option of selecting specific standards or selecting all standards

If you still aren’t sure about your restaurant equipment, you can always contact NSF to double-check that you are following equipment protocol.