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.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips

With all of the home improvement expos taking place this time of year, many people are thinking about home remodeling projects. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen, in addition to design it’s important to also think about the safety and performance of appliances and food preparation areas like countertops.

Download our fact sheet for tips on selecting both large and small appliances as well as countertops that will be safe for food preparation activities.

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Most Popular Q&A

  • Open What's the best way to store bottled water?

    Bottled water should be handled like any other food product you bring into your home. Avoid storing bottled water in a garage or basement where it might be exposed to gasoline fumes, chemicals or excessive dampness. Avoid storing bottled water where it might be exposed to sunlight, instead keeping it in a cool, dry environment, such as a pantry.

    Once opened, bottled water containers should be stored in the refrigerator to inhibit bacterial growth. If using a bottled water dispenser, be sure to clean the dispenser unit often following the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and sanitizing instructions.

  • Open Which kitchen appliances did NSF find to harbor the most germs?

    Because of NSF’s role in evaluating the cleanability of common kitchen tools and appliances used in the home, in 2013 our microbiologists analyzed 14 common kitchen items in several homes for the presence of four different types of microorganisms:  E. coli, Salmonella, yeast and mold, and Listeria.

    Our study found that many common kitchen appliances used to prepare food contained one or more of the organisms listed above, with refrigerator vegetable and meat compartments as well as blender gaskets being the germiest.

    Read more about this study, including what other kitchen items were found to contain potentially harmful microorganisms as well as recommended cleaning instructions for each item.

  • Open Do products that claim to be lead free contain any lead?

    As of January 2014, the definition of “lead-free” was changed in the U.S. to mean that a product does not contain more than 0.25 percent by weight. Compliance with this standard is mandatory for all products that are designed to come into contact with water that would typically be used for human consumption, including kitchen sink and bathroom sink faucets.

    Products produced prior to 2014 that met this requirement may be marked with NSF-61G, NSF-pw-G, or NSF-372, while products produced after January 4, 2014 may display an NSF-61, NSF-pw or NSF-372 marking.

  • Open Why should I purchase NSF certified supplements?

    Published reports have shown that not all supplement products contain the ingredients or quantities shown on the label. In some cases, unlisted ingredients can pose a health risk, especially to those with allergies. NSF certification helps give consumers piece of mind by confirming that product label information is accurate and that the manufacturer is following good manufacturing practices.

    Visit the NSF website for the full list of NSF certified supplements.

  • Open Which water treatment system is rated the best?

    Since no product can protect against all impurities, it isn’t possible to easily rate or compare water treatment systems. Instead, the focus of NSF’s certification program is to evaluate samples of a company’s products to confirm they meet applicable American National Standards for design and construction, as well as to verify if the product can reduce the contaminants claimed by the manufacturer. In addition, we review product literature and packaging to ensure accurate information about the product is provided.

    To help ensure you are selecting the right product, it’s important to research the quality of your incoming water supply to understand which contaminants are present or if there are any contaminants present that could pose a health issue to your family members. Once you have put together your list of contaminant reduction needs, you can then use NSF’s online database to see if any water treatment systems are certified to address those issues.

  • Open To what temperature should foods be reheated so that they are safe to eat?

    Previously cooked foods, including foods containing previously cooked ingredients, need to be reheated until the internal temperature reaches at least 165° F.

  • Open What do the letters NSF stand for?

    The letters in our organization’s name do not represent any specific words today. NSF International was founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation. The name of our organization was changed to NSF International in 1990 when the National Sanitation Foundation and NSF Testing Labs merged. A brief history of the NSF organization is available on our website.

  • Open Can products imported from other countries be certified organic under U.S. standards?

    Imported agricultural products can be sold as organic in the U.S. provided that they are verified to meet the same requirements as organic products produced in the U.S. This includes undergoing regular on-site audits by a USDA-accredited certifying agent (ACA) to confirm that the organic practices detailed in each company’s documentation are actually occurring at the site and that those practices comply with National Organic Program (NOP) requirements. The USDA has ACAs in many foreign countries that help verify requirements of the NOP are being met, and ACAs work together to help ensure that organic integrity in the U.S. is maintained from farm to table.

  • Open What is the best way to handle and store water treatment chemicals?

    If you only use your pool or spa seasonally, make sure to check your supply of water treatment chemicals before you start the pool opening process each year to make sure you have everything you need. Check the expiration dates on each product and replace any outdated chemicals. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each product and store chemicals in a cool, dry area out of the reach of children.

  • Open What are composting toilets?

    Composting toilets are a type of wastewater treatment system designed to use little or no water. They generally do not require hookup to a sewer or septic system and work by providing an enclosed environment that allows the natural process of aerobic decomposition to occur.

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