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 standards outline the different terms and definitions for food equipment. This is especially useful for defining food zones and hazardous areas.
General Food Equipment Standards
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
This standard 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 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
- Facility location
- NSF standard – you have the option of selecting specific standards or selecting all standards
If you still aren’t sure, you can always contact NSF to double-check that you are following equipment protocol.