Introducing the OttOmate Guide to NSF Certification
A weekly series to steer your automation startup through the food safety process.
A few weeks ago, NSF International (NSF) participated in a Q&A with OttOmate on food equipment certification. Not only does certification ensure that the food your product makes is safe to eat – it also helps to keep your employees safe, during and after they use it.
Starting this week, we’re partnering with OttOmate on its Guide to NSF Certification – a series of articles to share the ins and outs of food equipment certification. It’s our hope this guide will help anyone who builds or buys food robots and automated equipment to better understand the certification process.
Who is NSF?
NSF International is an independent, global organization that facilitates the development of standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF provides expertise and accredited food services across all supply chain sectors, including agriculture, produce, processing, distribution, dairy, seafood, quality management software, retail and restaurants. Services include foodservice equipment and nonfood compounds certification, HACCP validation and inspection, label claims verification and certification, product and process development. Separately, we offer expert consulting and training, including food fraud services.
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What is food equipment certification?
Automation and technology are currently at the crossroads of food safety and innovation, poised to provide significant benefits to restaurants, suppliers and manufacturers. With new inventions introduced nearly every day, it’s critical that foodservice equipment is evaluated and tested against existing standards to ensure food safety is maintained. While the equipment may be fully automated, the basic principles of hygienic design (such as radius’, in-place cleaning, etc.) continue to pose important food safety risks manufacturers should be aware of. In entering the world of food safety, startups are sometimes unfamiliar with such hygienic standards, as well as the local codes and government requirements for food equipment.
Third party agencies, such as NSF, play a key role in evaluating potential risks prior to the introduction of equipment to the market. Attaining product certification from a certification body provides external validation that the product is cleanable, hygienically designed and safe to use in the certified applications. In fact, some businesses require proof of product certification in order to purchase and use the product. At NSF, we work with entrepreneurs and product innovators to align design features with the requirements of the NSF/ANSI Commercial Food Equipment standards.
What’s the first step to getting certified?
We work with clients throughout different phases of their hygienic design process – this can range from the initial concept phase to production. We recommend getting started with certification as early as possible. The first step would be to contact NSF at email@example.com and visit our website to get started, however it would also help to get familiar with the different steps in the food equipment certification process. That’s exactly what this guide will provide – so come back every Wednesday as a member of our team takes you step by step through the process.
This article is part of the OttOmate Guide to NSF Certification. Check back here at ottomate.news each Wednesday for the latest article. For more information, contact NSF at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NSF to learn more.