Checked by NSF™ FAQs

Answers to common questions about the Checked by NSF™ program.

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What is Checked by NSF™?

Checked by NSF™ is an independent verification of businesses’ COVID-19 preventative measures, rooted in NSF’s 75 years of public health and safety experience around the globe. NSF provides trusted, knowledgeable and approachable solutions to open and operate with continuity. The Checked by NSF™ icon is a visual demonstration of an organization’s commitment to continued safety.

Which businesses are eligible for the Checked by NSF™ program?

The primary industry sectors we are focused on for Checked by NSF™ include:

  • Restaurants / foodservice
  • Hospitality / hotel
  • Food and beverage manufacturing
  • Commercial / office
  • Educational / cultural
  • Retail

Are there any industries / organizations that aren’t eligible for validation?

No one is ineligible per the criteria of the program, but there are some that may not be able to implement the rigor of protocols required to qualify. This can be determined through a conversation with NSF.

Where does NSF offer Checked by NSF™?

Checked by NSF™ is offered throughout the world. NSF currently has Checked by NSF™ clients throughout North America, South America and EMEA.

How was Checked by NSF™ developed?

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic and during the initial series of shutdowns, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, museums and other businesses from across the globe were asking us for advice and assistance with their plans to reopen. A central theme emerged that, although governments and public health organizations were providing guidance around re-opening, organizations were struggling to practically implement that guidance. We quickly responded by developing an assurance program that helps organizations build trust with staff, customers and the community by helping address the uncertainties of planning for the new normal of a COVID-19 world.

Development of NSF’s COVID-19 prevention program was led by a team of experts that includes microbiologists, Ph.D.s, medical doctors, former WHO technical officers and FDA regulators, engineers, chemists and other professionals specializing in public health and the environment.

Their efforts created a comprehensive program of science-based guidance and a variety of easy-to-use tools that any industry can use to reopen and stay open during this pandemic while minimizing COVID-19 risk.

How many customers have signed up for Checked by NSF™?

To date, we have over 2,000 locations that utilize the program or NSF’s COVID-19 consultative services, including McDonald’s in the UK, Louvre Hotels Group and Hard Rock International (EMEA).

NSF has also consulted with a variety of organizations, from museums and law firms to university housing and entertainment complexes.

How does Checked by NSF™ work?

Checked by NSF™ means that participating organizations have worked directly with NSF’s public health professionals to implement appropriate measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 among their employees, visitors and guests.

Organizations that have implemented and adhere to the rigorous protocols and procedures of the Checked by NSF™ program are authorized to display the Checked by NSF™ signage.

The complete Checked by NSF™ program consists of three phases – plan, implement and improve. Although some businesses look to us to help them only through their planning phase, only those that successfully complete all three phases can display the Checked by NSF™ signage.

As part of Phase 3, we continue to monitor and assess ongoing adherence to our rigorous protocols.

How long does the process take?

We customize each program to our customers’ specific needs. For example, some customers come to us with a program already developed and look to our experts to ensure the procedures they have in place meet our trusted standards. Others look to us to help develop a program from the ground up. Regardless of where customers are in their journey, NSF is ready to help develop a program tailored to their specific needs.

For existing customers, we have an opportunity to act quickly and add Checked by NSF™ onto current or ongoing projects.

How do you ensure that a company you’ve verified – and that carries the Checked by NSF™ icon – maintains the standards you have identified/put in place?

Program compliance checks are performed by NSF using remote verification or on-site visits.

Any facility found to be out of compliance with Checked by NSF™ requirements will be given 30 days to correct all deficiencies or will be removed from the program.

How is NSF’s program different?

Today’s market is saturated with “certifications” and “self-validation programs,” which can be confusing to consumers and even industry experts! Without independent verification, it’s difficult to know how effective these “programs” truly are.

While most such programs consist of one-off self-assessments, Checked by NSF™ requires rigorous, ongoing measures and continuous improvement. Otherwise, the organization’s verification may be revoked.

The Checked by NSF™ program is the only one built on 75 years of public health and safety experience. We draw upon infectious disease and other experts from around the globe to provide trusted, knowledgeable and approachable solutions to open and operate with continuity.

NSF’s COVID-19 reopening program is led by a team of experts, from microbiologists, Ph.D.s, medical doctors, former regulators, engineers and chemists to other professionals specializing in public health and the environment.

How much does Checked by NSF™ cost?

The Checked by NSF™ service ranges in price and is fully scalable and customizable, based on a company’s size and desired scope of services. Each program is customized to accommodate certain factors, including type of business, employee size, training, building perimeters, local health guidelines, community spread, etc.

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