We’ve shared with you the reasons why having commercial-approved shelving in foodservice is important. Also, why spending your hard-earned profits on shelving from the local hardware store might not be a wise investment.
Just as health inspectors audit restaurants to ensure that proper procedures are being followed to keep food safe at every stage from receiving to service, auditors visit NSF listed manufacturing facilities to make sure the materials and products that are being produced meet food protection and sanitation requirements at every stage in the manufacturing process.
We interviewed Kelli Fall, Technical Manager, Food Equipment from NSF International for more insight as to their evaluation process and what the risks are when purchasing non-NSF listed shelving equipment.
- What criteria and/or design features is NSF looking out for when they are evaluating product for certification?
Every piece of food equipment has its own design/construction, material and even performance requirements depending upon the type of equipment and its intended end use. For shelving certification, NSF International looks at a multitude of factors including cleanability and corrosion resistance.
- What does the certification process entail?
Certification to NSF/ANSI 2: Food Equipment requires a thorough review of materials, a physical evaluation of the equipment to ensure compliance to NSF standard design and construction requirements, and possibly performance testing depending on the type of equipment. Once we have resolved any issues and have evidence that the equipment meets all the applicable requirements of the standard, then certification can be granted.
- How early in the design of a product does NSF get involved?
NSF International encourages companies to contact us as early as possible in the equipment design process. NSF International experts often get involved in the R&D process to help prevent issues later down the line, but we can become involved at any stage in the design process.
- What is the ongoing audit process once a product has been approved?
Prior to certification, NSF International auditors conduct the first announced visit to a facility to ensure all personnel involved are aware of all the requirements of NSF International certification including record keeping and facility access. After certification, NSF International conducts unannounced audits to ensure that all products bearing the NSF mark are being manufactured in the same manner as originally certified.
- Why is it important that a foodservice operator invests in products that are NSF listed and how does this protect them?
Investing in an NSF/ANSI certified food safety product ensures that the product will not leach harmful chemicals into food, is cleanable and is not likely to harbor bacteria.
- Why would it not be recommended that an operator purchase a non-NSF listed shelving product?
The NSF International certification process for NSF/ANSI 2, which covers shelving products used in commercial foodservice, ensures that the product meets requirements for sanitation, design and fabrication as well as performance for food handling and processing. Purchasing equipment certified to this standard can provide assurance that the equipment has been tested for corrosion and cleanability.
- What risk do they run if they chose non NSF listed products for a commercial application?
Certification provides assurance that the equipment has been independently reviewed and tested by NSF International and meets all applicable design, material and performance requirements. Without this assurance, operators run the risk of purchasing equipment that will not withstand the rigors of a commercial foodservice operation, and may prove to be unsafe.
“Because health departments look for NSF certified equipment during their inspections, using uncertified equipment can result in violations and interruption of business operations, including delayed store or restaurant openings,” shared Kelli.
Cambro is unparalleled in its reputation in the foodservice industry for designing and manufacturing shelving products that withstand the test of time. Our tagline “Trusted for Generations” reinforces the highest quality manufacturing standards. When evaluating shelving suppliers, consider their certification, quality processes and standards to ensure their quality values are consistent with yours.
Reduce the risk in your operation by upgrading to NSF Listed shelving products for your restaurant. Visit www.cambro/camshelving to choose from one of three shelving options for your storage rooms!