NSF’s heritage dates back to November 1944 when two professors from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, and a public health official from nearby Toledo, OH, saw a need to standardize the health requirements for commercial foodservice equipment. The transparent, consensus-based process they established to develop NSF’s first standards for the sanitation of soda fountain and luncheonette equipment became the process by which NSF developed other human health and safety standards. Today,the organization has more than 850 employees, operating in more than 120 countries, with certification programs for multiple products. Global headquarters are located in Ann Arbor, MI.
Since that time, NSF has developed more than 72 American National Standards to protect food and water, dietary supplements, pools and spas, and consumer goods. NSF also tests and certifies a wide range of products including foodservice equipment, organic foods, plastic and plumbing products, water filters, nutritional ingredients, home appliances, kitchen utensils, green building materials, pool and spa equipment, and more.
Milestones In NSF’s History
1952: NSF Test Laboratories chartered.
First food equipment standards introduced (NSF standards 1 and 2).
Food equipment certification program launched.
1980: NSF International creates the water treatment and distribution systems program to assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to improve drinking water standards. A majority of states now require drinking water products, such as plastic, plumbing and water filters, be certified to NSF standards.
1985: NSF International opens European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Drinking water additives program launched.
1990: NSF and NSF Testing Laboratories merge to form NSF International.
1991: NSF Certification programs are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
1996: NSF receives designation as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for food safety and drinking water safety and treatment. This designation was renewed in 2009.
2001: NSF International launches dietary supplement certification program.
2004: NSF acquires Quality Assurance International (QAI, Inc.), organic certifier based in San Diego, CA
2005: NSF expands testing operations in Taiwan with new lab in Taichung.
2006: NSF establishes NSF Shanghai Co. Ltd. in the People’s Republic of China to enhance food and water quality throughout Asia.
2007: NSF completes an 80,000 square-foot laboratory expansion at their headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI, to increase its engineering, microbiology, chemistry, and toxicology laboratory capabilities, bringing its headquarters and lab facility to a total of 150,000 square feet.
2008: NSF launches the Environmental Sustainability Program that provides carbon footprinting and accredited, third-party verification of environmental claims and greenhouse gas emissions. This program also includes standards development and certification for sustainable products, such as carpet, furniture, and other building materials, as well as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
2009: NSF opens office in India.
NSF acquires Surefish, a recognized leader in seafood quality, with offices in Seattle, Alaska, Vietnam and South Korea.
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