NSF international marks Food Safety Education Month

Published 7 September 2009

NSF, founded in 1944, is a veteran in the food safety business; September is U.S. National Food Safety Education Month, and NSF highlights its different activities aiming to improve food safety

In celebration of the 15th annual National Food Safety Education Month, NSF International, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based not-for-profit, public health and safety organization, highlights its activities aiming to protect and improve food safety throughout the supply chain.

National Food Safety Education Month (September) was initially created by the National Restaurant Association to encourage food safety education for the restaurant and food service industry. Many other areas of the food industry have adopted this food safety initiative as an opportunity to increase awareness throughout the food supply chain.

NSF International has been committed to helping protect and improve food safety since its founding in 1944,” said Kristen Holt, NSF Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality programs. “As new food safety challenges arise and supply chains become global, NSF and the food industry have worked together to provide food safety solutions that improve food safety and quality while increasing efficiency and reducing costs for food growers, manufacturers and retailers.  Food safety must be a priority at every step of the supply chain.”

NSF International, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment, has a 65-year history in delivering assistance to companies in meeting federal requirements and improving their food safety systems so they meet, or even exceed, regulations.

NSF’s family of third-party food safety organizations work together internationally to provide training and education, auditing, certification, product approval and registration services at every step of the food supply chain. To help illustrate this, NSF developed a diagram that describes how NSF helps protect the food supply:


  • On the farm through NSF Davis Fresh, a provider of food safety solutions for the produce industry. NSF Davis Fresh assists growers, shippers, processors, distributors, and retailers with field evaluations, laboratory testing, consulting, and training.
  • In the manufacturing facility through NSF Cook & Thurber and NSF-CMi, which have the auditing network, extensive industry, technical experience, and education to provide national and international certification and auditing programs designed for processors, manufacturers, and distributors worldwide. These food safety certification, consulting, technical and risk management services enable companies to comply with legislative and industry standards and gain competitive advantage in their markets. 
  • In supermarkets and restaurants through NSF’s Food Equipment, Restaurant and Supermarket food safety programs, which help food service and supermarket establishments reduce the overall risk of food-borne illness, increase employee awareness of food safety, and protect and strengthen product quality and safety.
    • NSF’s Food Equipment Certification program provides restaurants and supermarkets with quality food service equipment that meets high standards in cleanability, design, construction, and safe materials. The NSF Certification Mark can be found on products used in every aspect of industrial kitchens, from where the food is stored and prepared, to where it is cooked and served.
    • NSF’s Restaurant Food Safety program provides on-site facility audits of food storage, cooking, serving, and sanitation practices. This program combines federal and state regulations and best industry practices to provide customized audit program focused on food safety, workplace safety, and sanitation practices.
    • NSF’s Supermarket Food Safety program involves three interlocking services — audits, microbial monitoring, and FastCheck, which provides supermarkets with a method of responding to customer food-related illness complaints through on-site testing of suspect products. 
  • NSF also promotes food safety in the home by certifying residential appliances to national health standards and protocols. Residential products certified by NSF include coffee makers, cutting boards, dishwashers, faucets and piping, cooking and refrigeration thermometers, cookware, knives and water filters.
    • NSF also helps educate consumers about food safety by providing helpful information that includes tips on how to store and cook food safely and protect against food-borne illness.

The organization says that as part of its commitment to global food safety, NSF also offers certification to Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-benchmarked food safety standards, such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Safe Quality Food (SQF). These global food safety certification systems promote consistency across the supply chain and provide independent certification that a product, process, or service complies with international, regulatory, and other specified standards.

To learn more about NSF’s food safety services, please visit NSF’s Web site.