Consumer Resources

As an independent global health and safety organization, NSF International tests and certifies products and writes standards for the food, water and consumer goods industries. Founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, we changed our name to NSF International in 1990 as we expanded our services worldwide. The letters NSF do not represent any specific words today.

Sport Supplement Ingredients to Avoid

If you participate in organized sports at any level, you may already be using supplements or at least considering their use. However, it’s important to understand that some supplements can contain ingredients that could hurt your game as well as your health.

Learn more about what ingredients you should avoid when taking sport supplements.

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Most Popular Q&A

  • Open Is water packaged in #7 plastic bottles safe to drink?

    Bottled water products that are sold in the U.S. are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food product. While not required to be contaminant free, any impurities present in the product must be within the maximum allowable concentrations set by the FDA. The FDA also requires bottlers to disclose any additives in the water, such as fluoride or minerals.

    NSF certified bottled water products are tested for more than 160 microbiological, radiological, heavy metal and chemical contaminants. In addition, the production facilities are regularly audited to ensure good manufacturing practices are in place to protect product integrity. A complete list of bottled water brands that are NSF certified is posted on the NSF website.

  • Open How does NSF/ANSI 184 – Residential Dishwashers differ from NSF/ANSI 3 – Commercial Dishwashers?

    NSF/ANSI 3 establishes minimum design, construction, material and performance requirements for commercial dishwashers used in restaurants and other facilities subject to public health inspections, while NSF/ANSI 184 sets requirements for dishwashers used in a residential setting. Both standards require certified dishwashers to be able to reduce 99.999 percent of bacteria when operated on the sanitizing cycle.  However, the minimum final rinse temperature for residential dishwashers is 150° F, compared to 165° or 180°  F for commercial dishwashers.

    A list of residential dishwashers that are currently NSF certified can be found in our consumer products database, while a list of certified commercial dishwashers can be found in our commercial food equipment database.

  • Open Will products that are FDA approved also meet NSF/ANSI 61 requirements?

    Although the FDA doesn’t approve products, it does set standards for materials that come into contact with foods and beverages. When a company claims that its materials are FDA approved, it is most likely trying to indicate that its product is produced from materials that comply with FDA regulations for a specific end use, such as for contact with a beverage like juice or milk. This is not the same as NSF/ANSI 61 certification, which is based on EPA drinking water regulations. Under NSF/ANSI 61, products and materials undergo extraction testing to determine if any impurities are being introduced that could cause drinking water to become unsafe for consumption. The maximum allowed concentrations of impurities are based on U.S. EPA and/or Health Canada limits, whichever is stricter.

  • Open Why should I purchase NSF certified supplements?

    Many reports have been published showing that not all supplement products contain the ingredients or quantities shown on the label. In some cases, unlisted ingredients could pose a health risk, especially to those with allergies. To better protect yourself as a consumer, consider purchasing supplements that are NSF certified to contain the ingredients and quantities shown on the product label. Visit the NSF website for the full list of NSF certified supplements.

  • Open If a product claims to use NSF certified components, is that the same as being NSF certified?

    No. Component testing is generally limited to a review of a filter cartridge, housing or membrane for either structural integrity or material safety. In general, no performance testing is conducted on components, but rather on finished systems, i.e. a filter cartridge or membrane inside of a housing.

    If you are concerned about a product’s contaminant reduction capability, contact the manufacturer to ask who tested the system for performance and then contact that organization to verify if the system was tested and certified to be effective against the contaminants it claims to reduce. A searchable database of NSF certified water treatment systems is available online.

  • Open What is the biggest food safety danger at holiday gatherings?

    One of the biggest dangers at holiday gatherings is the tendency to lose track of time and let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours, which can promote the growth of bacteria. Whether you are serving a buffet or traditional sit-down meal, follow these guidelines so that food stays safe:

    1. Don’t let foods sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep track of how long foods have been sitting on the table and discard any perishable foods that have been sitting out for two hours or more.
    2.  
    3. Hot foods should be held at 140° F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to help keep foods warm if necessary.
    4.  
    5. Cold foods should be held at 40° F or colder. Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice.
    6.  
    7. Always serve food on clean plates. Replace empty platters rather than add fresh food to a dish that already had food in it.
  • Open Where can I purchase a product that I saw on your website?

    NSF International does not manufacture, sell or distribute products. As an independent certification organization, we evaluate samples of products to determine whether they meet voluntary standards for protection of public health. If you are interested in purchasing a product that appears on the NSF website or that claims to have NSF certification, please contact the product’s manufacturer directly for assistance in locating a supplier.

  • Open What does the term organic mean?

    Organic refers to how a product is produced, i.e. without using conventional pesticides, irradiation or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or bioengineering. For example, organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products can only be produced from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and are fed 100 percent organic feed. Organic doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is free of something, but rather that it has been produced without using prohibited methods.

  • Open Is copper ionization an effective method to disinfect pool water?

    Several companies have earned NSF certification for their disinfection systems, including copper or copper/silver ionization systems, ozone generators and ultraviolet disinfection systems. Search for NSF certified pool disinfection systems in the NSF online listings.

    Under NSF/ANSI 50, copper and copper/silver ionization systems are intended for supplemental disinfection of pool/spa water and need to be used in conjunction with small amounts of chlorine or bromine as indicated in the official listing for each product.

  • Open How do I choose a composting toilet for a small on-farm office?

    The three types of composting toilet systems covered by NSF/ANSI 41 include:

    Day use park - Day-use park systems are intended for use in day parks, roadside stops and other similar settings where the percentage of urine events is estimated to be six times greater than the number of fecal events. Performance testing is conducted based on the number of total uses per day, not on the number of individual users.

    Residential use - These systems are generally intended for use in a home setting. Performance testing is conducted based on the assumption that the toilet will be used for an average of four urine events and 1.2 fecal events per day per household member.

    Cottage - These systems are intended for intermittent use in a cabin or cottage setting. Performance testing is based on the same event criteria per household member as for residential use units, but with the assumption that the unit will be used on average two consecutive days per week rather than seven.

    Search for companies that produce NSF certified composting toilets in the NSF online listings (by selecting Non-Liquid Saturated Treatment Systems (NSF/ANSI Standard 41) from the Product Standard dropdown menu.

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