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What are Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks?

What are Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks?

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For the food service industry, 2 of the most important components are Safety and Sanitation. To keep equipment operators (and customers of course) safe, there are many different agencies in charge of certifying and testing commercial kitchen equipment. You can see certain symbols found on equipment that indicate whether said agencies have deemed the equipment as “meeting specific standards” These agencies work with manufacturers to verify that commercial restaurant equipment units are up to proper standards through the following certifications:

NSF International

NSF international focuses primarily on creating and maintaining sanitation standards of equipment in the food service industry. This is something that is taken very seriously because if equipment was not certified or up to par, there would be even more people hospitalized each year because of foodborne illness. There are no universal rules or governing sanitation laws; however, the NSF international marking on a product does guarantee that has been tested thoroughly to ensure the unit protects food quality and safety. This is done at a manufacturing level to ensure food safety when in use. The facilities that manufacture NSF certified equipment must be evaluated yearly by NSF auditors who renew their certification. Food Prep equipment must be designed and constructed to be safe for end use consumers to ensure their safety. NSF approved items are in compliance with health department rules to ensure just that.

 

 

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an agency that certifies commercial restaurant equipment with safety in mind. The agency has engineers who test both electrical and gas equipment to ensure that safety standards are in place in the design. They also ensure that the structural integrity of the equipment meet requirements to ensure safe use. If all the testing procedures are completed successfully on the piece of equipment, the unit is deemed safe for use and given a certification. UL also has a sanitation certification that is similar to the NSF International. Often, equipment that is listed as UL sanitation certified, is also accepted as alternatives to NSF listed equipment. You’ll want to consult with your local regulatory office to confirm or if you need more information.

 


The basic UL symbol.


If the basic UL symbol as a “C” to the left and a “US” to the right of it, then that says the commercial restaurant equipment has been tested in both Canada and the US and meets their safety standards. If you only see the “C”, it’s only been tested and certified in Canada. The same goes if you only see “US”.

If the UL symbol also has “GAS-FRIED” on the top, then the commercial restaurant equipment uses gas as its primary power source. This type of equipment has undergone several tests to certify its ability to prevent hazardous situations.

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is primarily applicable to the Canadian market. However, since CSA tests electrical and gas units that undergo testing for both NSF and UL requirements, CSA marked equipment can also be alternatives to NSF and UL units. You must consult your local regulatory offices to confirm or for more information needed.

 


The basic CSA symbol


If the basic CSA symbol as a “C” to the left and a “US” to the right of it, then (just like the UL symbol) it says the produced unit has been tested in both Canada and the US and meets their safety standards. If you only see the “C”, it’s only been tested and certified in Canada. The same goes if you only see “US”.


The CSA star mark shows that this piece of equipment has been tested and meets the requirements for gas-fired products in the U.S.


A CSA blue flame mark is a certification for equipment that has been tested and meets the requirements for gas-fired products in Canada.


The CSA Sanitation mark indicates that products have been tested and meet NSF/ANSI requirements.

 

 

 

 

Energy Star

While this is not a necessarily required certification recognized by local regulatory groups, the energy star indicates units that can save you thousands on annual energy bills. Using equipment that is Energy Star qualified, can also provide tax credit opportunity for your business. Energy star standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Units that have the Energy Star rating have been rigorously tested to meet said agency standards.

 


Energy Star Qualified:

The Energy Star Qualified symbol

 

Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL Intertek)

Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL) is an Intertek division that is a global group of laboratories in charge of testing several global items. Intertek’s mark are found on equipment that adhere to safety standards similar to those mentioned previously. These safety standards are developed through independent testing by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL). This means that the ETL is held to the same standards as the beforementioned UL or CSA marks. ETL listed markings are recognized by local inspectors and authorities having jurisdiction across North America.

 


The basic ETL Intertek symbol

 


Like the earlier symbols of this list, if there is a "C” to the left and a “US” to the right of it, then it says the produced unit has been tested in both Canada and the US and meets their safety standards. If you only see the “C”, it’s only been tested and certified in Canada. The same goes if you only see “US”.


This symbol indicates that equipment has been rigorously tested against national sanitation requirements and has been deemed safe. When you see this item, you can be confident that your equipment is fit for use during food production.

 

 

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) regulates intestate and international communications. This is everything from radio to television to satellite to cable across all 50 states and US territories. What does this have to do with commercial restaurant equipment? Simply put, the FCC issues licenses to allow units to operate over radio frequencies. So surprisingly enough, some equipment, like microwaves or induction units use radio waves to work. So when you buy a microwave that is FCC compliant, then you know that it is certified to operate over radio frequencies that are designated for that unit.

 


The FCC symbol

 

Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Compliant)

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that states no one may discriminate against a person with a disability that was passed on July 26, 1990. The law also states that everyone must have the same opportunities, regardless of a disability being present. Since taking affect, the Department of Justice has issued ADA standards for Accessible Design. This means that equipment that meets the standards set forth by the Department of Justice are given the ADA compliant certification.

 


The ADA Compliant symbol

 

 We hope that this guide to certifications has been beneficial; however, nothing can replace guidance from your local regulatory offices. Now that you know what certifications are important for your commercial kitchen equipment, please feel safe in shopping our large inventory or valuable units.

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