What Does “NSF Certified” Mean, and Why Is It Important?

If a product is NSF certified, it complies with robust standards to protect public health. NSF’s mission is to “protect and improve global human health,” so the organization’s ultimate goal is to promote public health and safety. It does so by ensuring products and services are safe for consumers. Alsco is the first commercial linen rental company to receive NSF international commercial laundry certification, demonstrating our commitment to our customers’ wellness. We provide linens that are hygienically clean and resistant to bacteria, and our NSF certification verifies that.

What Is NSF?

Although NSF stands for the National Sanitation Foundation, it also is known as the Public Health and Safety Organization. NSF was founded in 1944 as a nonprofit testing agency to establish and enforce standards for food sanitation and safety. 

The organization has evolved over the decades. Today, it sets safety standards for food, products, and water. NSF’s standards help protect consumer safety. 

NSF team members test products to ensure they meet strict standards, and NSF certifies those that do. NSF also audits products that have already received NSF certification to ensure they continue to meet those standards.  

What Is NSF Certification?

NSF certification means that a product or food has met NSF’s standards for health and safety. This doesn’t only relate to the product itself but also to its production or manufacturing processes. 

NSF certification isn’t only a single event. It’s an ongoing process where products are regularly audited. If a product stops meeting NSF’s requirements, it may be recalled or lose certification. Consumers may be notified of a product’s failure to meet requirements.

How Does a Product Become NSF Certified?

To become NSF certified, products must go through a rigorous testing process. This includes analyzing materials, testing products, and reviewing manufacturing processes. NSF may conduct unannounced plant visits to ensure all aspects of production meet standards.

If a business has a product or service it wants to be NSF certified, the business must submit an application that includes all necessary information on the product or service. 

NSF will then begin reviewing and testing the product. There will be a manufacturing facility inspection, product sampling, and product analysis. Testing results will be reviewed and confirmed.

Once all these steps are completed, the product or service will be NSF certified. Once certified, the product or service must continue to undergo annual testing to keep its certification current. Part of the annual recertification process involves regular plant visits. 

What Does NSF Certification Mean? 

For consumers, NSF certification means a product or service is safe and sanitary. They can rest assured that the company has met strict standards and that consumers are safe when they use any NSF-certified product. 

Consumers can search on NSF’s website to see if a product or service is NSF certified. They also can look for the NSF mark directly on products or branding. The NSF mark confirms that the product meets all NSF requirements, ensuring that it was independently reviewed by the organization and objectively verified.

Because NSF is dedicated to public health, an NSF mark shows that a company is also committed to consumer safety and health. Consumers feel good when they see an NSF certification because they know the company prioritizes their safety and wellness.

What Does NSF Certification Mean for Laundry Products?

An NSF laundry certification means that the products are hygienically clean and can protect consumers from bacteria that may be present in commercial food service. When consumers use linens with an NSF laundry certification, they don’t have to worry about the safety implications of the linens. NSF has certified that the linens meet its health and safety standards.

To obtain this certification, a laundering company must go through multiple rounds of intensive review. Laundering processes are analyzed, reviewed, and audited. NSF auditors visit the laundering facilities to ensure they are clean, safe, and in compliance with NSF standards. This compliance extends to how the linens are transported after they leave the laundering facility until they reach their final destination.

NSF also tests random samples of linens to ensure the laundering processes remove harmful bacteria and pathogens. NSF performs intensive microbiological testing to verify that the linens meet safety and health standards.

Alsco Is NSF Certified

Alsco is proud to be the first commercial linen rental company to receive NSF certification. We prioritize our customers’ health and safety above all else, and we’re happy to have our efforts recognized by NSF. 

We offer linen rentals for companies in the food service and hospitality industries with complete laundering services. If you’re ready to let Alsco handle your linen needs, please reach out to us today. 


About NSF. NSF.

What Is NSF Certification? NSF.

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The NSF Mark. NSF.

Allergy Sufferers: Look for the New NSF Mark. (May 2010). Good Housekeeping.

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