Safety and Sanitation
A variety of certifying and testing agencies throughout the world work with manufacturers to verify that our restaurant equipment and some smallware items meet safety and sanitation standards. You can recognize restaurant equipment and smallware items that pass these tests by certain symbols either on the equipment itself, or on its specification sheet.
In this guide, we will briefly discuss each symbol, its importance, and how it affects your business
NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International
NSF International - In the food service industry, NSF International's primary function is to create sanitation safety standards for testing products. NSF also uses these testing standards to approve anything from large restaurant equipment to small manual prep tools for safe use in food service operations. In most instances, restaurants will be required to have NSF Listed equipment and supplies to pass health inspections.
An NSF symbol with a "c" to the bottom left, and a "us" to the bottom right denotes that the product has been certified to meet both Canadian and US safety and sanitation requirements.
UL (Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc.)
UL's primary focus is on equipment safety standards. UL tests both electrical and gas fired food service equipment using its own standards and, in some instances, those standards set by other companies like NSF. If the piece of food service equipment passes UL's testing procedures and is deemed safe for use in food service operations, it is given the UL sticker.
In many instances, UL Listed products are acceptable alternatives to NSF Listed items during health inspections. Consult your local regulatory offices for further information.
There are several types of UL markers.
A UL symbol with a "c" to the bottom left denotes that the piece of restaurant equipment has been approved based on Canadian safety requirements.
A UL symbol with a "c" to the bottom left and a "us" to the bottom right denotes that the piece of restaurant equipment has been tested and met both US and Canadian safety standards.
A UL symbol with "GAS-FIRED" on top is given to restaurant equipment that uses gas as a primary power source.
A UL Gas Fired symbol with a "c" to the bottom left denotes the piece of gas fired restaurant equipment has met all Canadian safety standards for gas fired equipment.
A UL Gas Fired symbol with a "c" to the bottom left and a "us" to the bottom right denotes the piece of gas fired restaurant equipment has met both US and Canadian safety standards for gas fired equipment.
The UL - EPH symbol is given to restaurant equipment that has been evaluated and passed Environmental and Public Health standards. Products with the UL-EPH LISTED symbol have been tested to UL's own published environmental and public health standards for safety. The UL-EPH CLASSIFIED version is given to products that have met other food equipment environmental safety standards, like NSF.
ETL (Electronic Testing Laboratories - a Division of Intertek)
As a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), ETL tests electrical and gas equipment to a variety of other national safety standards including UL, CSA, ANSI, ASTM, and NFPA. The ETL Listed Mark is recognized by local inspectors and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) throughout North America.
If the ETL Listed mark has a "us" to the bottom right, it has passed U.S. product safety standards. If it has a "c" to the bottom left, it has passed Canadian product safety standards. If the ETL mark displays both identifiers, it meets both standards.
CE (European Union)
CE (European Union) - In order to sell and service a piece of restaurant equipment within countries of the European Union, it must bear the CE Logo. CE Marking denotes a product complies with all health and safety standards defined in European Union laws, known as "directives."
CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
CSA (Canadian Standards Association) - CSA is primarily applicable to the Canadian market. However, because CSA tests electrical and gas equipment to both its own standards as well as NSF and UL requirements, CSA marked equipment may be acceptable alternatives to NSF or UL Listed products during health inspections in the US. Consult your local regulatory offices for further information.
A CSA symbol with a "us" on the bottom denotes the product has been tested and approved for both the Canadian and US markets.
Energy Star - Although not normally required by local regulatory commissions, using Energy Star Certified equipment at your restaurant or food service operation can save thousands on annual energy bills. Using Energy Star Certified equipment can also qualify you for a variety of tax credits.
Energy Star standards are set by both the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency), and the Department of Energy. If a product meets the program's rigorous testing standards, it is awarded the Energy Star label.