NSF StaySafer™ program strengthens hotel water systems and foodservice operations to help prevent food and waterborne contamination

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Global public health organization NSF International has launched a new program that helps hotels, resorts and other hospitality settings prevent food and water contamination. The NSF International StaySafer™ program provides the hospitality industry with a credible means to demonstrate the safety of its food and water to travelers, agencies and hotel rating websites.

The NSF StaySafer™ program combines inspection and testing for both a hotel or resort’s water systems and foodservice operations, which is essential as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 10 million overseas travelers contract illness from food and drinking water. The program includes:

  • A review of the establishment’s written policies and procedures for both their foodservice operations and water systems, including food safety practices and training policies, water source and treatment systems, hotel schematics and plumbing blueprints.
     
  • An on-site facility inspection, which includes:
    1. An evaluation of the water distribution and treatment systems against NSF draft standard 432: Water Safety Standard for the Global Hotel Industry is conducted. This inspection verifies the safety of the design and maintenance of the hotel or resort’s water and ice systems. Water and ice samples are collected from various locations within the hospitality establishment and tested for chemical and microbial contaminants.
    2. An evaluation of foodservice operations against the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration Food Code is conducted to verify that proper food safety systems and personnel training are in place to reduce the risk of foodborne contaminants.
  • Annual facility audits and testing to ensure ongoing compliance to the program. This includes regularly scheduled testing and evaluation for microbiological and chemical contamination of drinking water and ice.

Once the hospitality establishment has demonstrated its compliance with the auditing and testing requirements of the program, NSF StaySafer certification is granted. By adhering to these requirements, a hotel with the NSF StaySafer certification will help protect both its guests and its brand.

“Until today, there has not been a tool in place for consumers to determine the safety of the food and water of the hotel at which they are staying, especially when travelling abroad. The NSF StaySafer program assists the hospitality industry in establishing credible, third-party verified safety and quality programs that are of great value to consumers, travel agencies and hotel review websites,” said Sonia Acuña-Rubio, Managing Director of NSF International’s Latin America Food Division.

The NSF StaySafer™ Program also provides hotels, resorts and other establishments access to customized NSF International inspections that would cover other aspects of the hotel operations, such us room cleanliness, workout facilities, bottled water certification, food supplier approval and food equipment certification, among others.  These other inspections can be bundled with the NSF StaySafer™ inspections to provide additional cost savings to certified establishments.

Certified hotels will be listed in NSF’s online listings database and earn the use of the NSF StaySafer mark on marketing materials and displays, as well as their website so consumers and agencies can easily find compliant hotels.

Companies seeking more information about the program can contact staysafer@nsf.org or visit NSF’s water programs Web page.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with an NSF International water expert, contact Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or +1 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 150 countries, NSF is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

NSF led the development of the American National Standards for all materials and products that treat or come in contact with drinking water. In 1990, the U.S. EPA replaced its own drinking water product advisory program with these NSF standards. Today, all major plumbing codes require certification to NSF standards for pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings. NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Additional NSF services include management systems registration through NSF-ISR; sustainability standards development, claims and product verification through NSF Sustainability; food safety and quality programs through the NSF Global Food Safety Division; and testing and certification programs for bottled water and beverages, dietary supplements and consumer product industries.