Independent standards and certification organization NSF International launched the NSF Home Product Certification Program to test and certify home kitchen products and appliances. NSF announced the program during the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago this week.
Product categories covered by the new certification program include coffee makers, slow cookers, blenders, food storage containers, cookware, and other kitchen products.
NSF said its regulatory and public health staff worked with retailers, manufacturers, and regulatory experts to develop protocols for each product category, incorporating relevant regulatory and retailer requirements.
NSF will verify product compliance with the protocol by evaluating its quality, performance, and material safety. The process also includes a packaging review, testing to substantiate performance and marketing claims, and an audit of the facility in which the product is made. Products that comply with the requirements will bear the NSF "Certified for Home Use" certification mark.
NSF pointed to several retailers and industry groups already using the NSF Home Product Certification program, including Costco, Jarden Consumer Solutions, and the Cookware Manufacturers Association.
The first products to earn NSF Home Product Certification are from Jarden Consumer Solutions:
* Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
* Oster Blender
* Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker
Craig Wilson, Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety, Costco, noted that NSF certification has long been used to approve the material and design safety of foodservice equipment. "The NSF Home Product Certification Program provides retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to apply similar safety and quality principles to their home kitchen products while expediting the product approval process," said Wilson.
NSF said its own survey results showed that:
* 81% of consumers prefer to purchase products with independently tested certification marks over those without
* 86% prefer buying from retailers that stock independently tested and certified products.
"We believe that the NSF Home Product Certification program will benefit manufacturers, retailers and consumers in helping to standardize product testing across channels, helping to control testing costs and reduce lead time between design, production and shipment of product, " said Doug Reigle, COO of Regal Ware and the 2012 President of the Cookware Manufacturers Association.
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