Additional Information re: World Accreditation Day 2012 (June 9th)
The following NSF International programs have helped create safer food and cleaner drinking water. Accreditations are important to an organization such as NSF International, as they attest to the competency of the services provided and compliance with established national and international standards for third-party certification.
NSF International Shanghai Testing Laboratory
NSF International’s lab in Shanghai, China, follows internationally recognized lab quality management practices to verify the safety and quality of food and water products made in Asia against U.S. and European standards. The testing laboratory is recognized by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and it is also accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. These designations are important for companies that manufacture products in China for import into the U.S. and Europe to help them source safer products, raw materials and ingredients from Asia through independent, third-party testing and certification.
Global Food Safety Certification
Global food safety certifications promote consistency across the food supply chain and provide independent certification that a product, process or service complies with international, regulatory, and other specified standards. NSF was the first certifier in North America to obtain American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation to both Safe Quality Food (SQF) and British Retail Consortium (BRC). Additionally, NSF offers certification to other Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked food safety standards, including International Food Safety (IFS), Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000, and Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practices).
Dietary Supplement Certification
NSF wrote the only accredited American national standard for dietary supplements (NSF/ANSI Standard 173). The standard, in which the NSF Dietary Supplement Certification Program is based, helps protect consumers by testing for contaminants and verifying that NSF certified supplements contain only the ingredients listed on the label. NSF launched a mobile app to help consumers and athletes find dietary supplements and sports nutrition products that are free of banned substances and contaminants. NSF Certified for Sport® products have been screened for more than 165 banned substances and undeclared ingredients including stimulants, narcotics, steroids, diuretics, beta-2-agonists and masking agents, as well as unsafe levels of contaminants. NSF’s Shanghai lab can also test supplements sourced in China prior to leaving the country.
Kitchen Product and Appliance Certification
NSF has tested and certified commercial foodservice equipment for almost 70 years. A similar program is now available for home kitchen products and appliances to help consumers choose certified products for their homes. The NSF Home Product Certification (HPC) Program verifies that retail home products meet rigorous food safety, quality and performance standards similar to those for commercial food equipment. HPC tests and certifies the quality, performance, and material safety of home kitchen products and appliances. Product categories include: coffee makers, slow cookers, blenders, food storage containers, cookware and more. The program also requires packaging review and testing to substantiate performance and marketing claims, and an audit of the facility in which the product is made.
Low-Lead Drinking Water Standards
NSF recently updated NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects to further protect the public from exposure to lead. The changes, which take effect July 1, 2012, reduce the total allowable concentration of lead from 15 to 5 µg/L and the single product allowable concentration for lead from 1.5 to 0.5 µg/L. Product-specific reduction requirements also apply to mechanical plumbing devices such as faucets, supply stops, flexible plumbing connectors, and miscellaneous components.
Water Reuse Standard
In November 2011, NSF published the first American national standard for water reuse systems, NSF/ANSI 350: Onsite Residential and Commercial Reuse Treatment Systems. Residential and commercial builders, architects and regulators are turning to onsite wastewater reuse systems as a solution to increasing water scarcity and energy costs associated with the treatment and distribution of municipal water and wastewater. The standard ensures that water reuse systems properly treat graywater and combined wastewater for reuse in non-potable applications. It establishes materials, design and construction, and performance requirements for onsite residential and commercial water reuse treatment systems and sets water quality requirements for the reduction of chemical and microbiological contaminants for non-drinking water use.
Microbiological Water Purification Devices
In March, NSF expanded NSF Protocol P248: Military Operations Microbiological Water Purifiers to ensure that military personnel, and others, have access to safe drinking water from any freshwater source when deployed or in the field. The protocol initially covered small individual water purifiers and now also includes small unit (e.g. squad or platoon size) water purifiers, which can be used for about seven days. Water purification devices covered under the protocol can be used by disaster/emergency response teams, backpackers and others who do not have ready access to a treated water supply.
Water Filter Bottle Certification
In February, NSF developed test and certification procedures for filters used in portable water filter bottles. NSF scientists used NSF/ANSI Standard 42: Drinking Water Treatment Units - Aesthetic Effects to develop an innovative testing method for water bottles with built-in filters. The test checks whether a drinking water filter effectively removes contaminants, such as chlorine, that cause undesirable odor and taste. These filters are now common in sport bottles used by athletic minded, outdoor enthusiasts and others.
Global Water Treatment Products Certification
In November 2011, NSF launched a program to help manufacturers enter new international markets for water treatment, distribution and plumbing products. The NSF Passport Program brings independently certified products to more areas of the world by helping companies navigate regulatory, testing and certification requirements in more than 25 major and emerging global markets. The markets include the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, France, and Japan.