Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (2023)

NSF International

With regard to the food service industry, NSF International's primary focus is on creating and maintaining sanitation standards. With thousands of people every year being hospitalized as a result of foodborne illness, food safety has become an increasingly important issue. Although the rules governing sanitation are not universal to all regions, the NSF marking on a product guarantees that it was rigorously tested at the manufacturing level to ensure that it protects food quality and safety when in use. Facilities that manufacture NSF certified products are required to undergo yearly evaluations by NSF auditors to renew their certification. NSF approved items are almost guaranteed to be in compliance with health department rules, and food service establishments that use them will often see a boost in their overall inspection scores.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a certification agency that focuses mostly on equipment safety standards. The engineers at UL test both electrical and gas fired food service equipment to ensure that standards in soundness of design, electrical safety, and structural integrity are met. If all the testing procedures are completed successfully, the piece of equipment is deemed safe for use in food service operations and is given the UL sticker. UL also has a sanitation classification that is similar to the one set forth by NSF International. In many instances, products listed as UL Sanitation certified are acceptable alternatives to NSF Listed items during health inspections. Consult your local regulatory offices for further information.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (1)

UL Listed:

The basic UL symbol.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (2)

UL Listed US & Canada:

A UL symbol with a "C" to the left and a "US" to the right denotes that the piece of restaurant equipment has been tested and met both US and Canadian safety standards. Similarly, a UL symbol with only a "C" to the bottom left indicates that the piece of restaurant equipment has been approved based on Canadian safety requirements only.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (3)

UL Listed Gas-Fired:

A UL symbol with "GAS-FIRED" on top is given to restaurant equipment that uses gas as a primary power source. A piece of equipment with this marking has undergone tests for a number of potentially hazardous situations that could result from the use of its gas or electric system. This symbol indicates that it complies with not only UL standards, but with standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). You may see this marking with a "C" and/or "US" attached as well.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (4)

UL Listed EPH:

This symbol appears on products that are certified to meet specific environmental and public health standards. If it shows the word "Classified" above the UL mark, then the product also complies with ANSI/NSF regulations.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (5)

UL Listed Marine:

Products bearing this symbol have been tested to ensure that they comply with fire safety standards and can be used on maritime vessels.

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Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (6)


EcoLogo is a part of UL's environmental and business unit. Products bearing this symbol have been rigorously tested based on a variety of environmental attributes. These tests are conducted throughout the life cycle of the product and ensure that it meets performance and environmental standards.

European Union (CE)

CE is a mandatory certification for certain products within the European Economic Area, which covers the states which are members of the European Union. In order to sell and/or service a piece of restaurant equipment within these countries, it must bear the CE Logo. A product showing the CE marking complies with all applicable health and safety standards defined in European Union laws, known as "directives"

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

As one might guess, CSA, or the Canadian Standards Association, 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 U.S. Consult your local regulatory offices for more information.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (7)

CSA Listed:

The basic CSA symbol

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (8)

CSA Listed US & Canada:

A CSA 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. Similarly, a CSA symbol with only a "US" on the bottom indicates that the piece of restaurant equipment has been approved based on U.S. safety requirements only. A plain symbol denotes a piece of equipment that is deemed safe for use in Canada only.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (9)

CSA Star:

A CSA star mark means that a piece of equipment has been tested and has met the requirements for gas-fired products in the U.S.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (10)

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CSA Blue Flame:

A CSA blue flame certification means that a piece of equipment has been tested and has met the requirements for gas-fired products in Canada.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (11)

CSA Sanitation:

A CSA sanitation mark is found on products that have been tested and found to meet all applicable NSF/ANSI sanitation requirements.

Energy Star

Although not normally required by local regulatory commissions, using Energy Star Qualified equipment at your restaurant or food service operation can save thousands on annual energy bills. Using Energy Star Qualified equipment can also qualify you for a variety of tax credits. Energy Star standards are set by both the 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.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (12)

Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL Intertek)

Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL) is a division of Intertek, a global group of laboratories that test everything from petroleum to toys. This organization's mark, like many others on our list, is placed onto products that adhere to widely accepted gas, electrical, and other safety standards. These safety standards are developed through independent testing and routine follow-ups by an NRTL (nationally recognized testing laboratory), which means that ETL is held to the same standards as competing certification marks such as UL or CSA. The ETL Listed marking is recognized by local inspectors and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) throughout North America.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (13)

ETL Listed:

The basic ETL Intertek symbol

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (14)

ETL Listed US & Canada:

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.

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Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (15)

ETL Sanitation Listed:

The ETL Sanitation mark is awarded to food service equipment that has been rigorously tested against national sanitation requirements. This mark ensures you that the equipment is fit for use during food production as the manufacturer has not only passed the initial testing, but remains in compliance by completing periodic follow-up inspections.

Canadian Gas Association (CGA)

In relation to the foodservice industry, the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) develops and promotes safety standards for gas-powered equipment. If a piece of equipment receives the CGA blue flame mark, then it adheres to applicable Canadian standards for gas appliances or liquid petroleum products.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (16)

CGA Listed:

The CGA blue flame symbol

Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)

The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is an agency that tests commercial refrigeration and kitchen ventilation equipment to ensure that it lives up to the manufacturer's published claims. The AHRI certification is less about impressing the health inspectors or other regulatory bodies and more about making sure the consumer is getting a product that performs as advertised.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (17)

AHRI Certified:

The AHRI symbol

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. But, what does this have to do with cooking equipment? Well, the FCC issues licenses to allow certain devices to operate over radio frequencies, and as it turns out, some microwaves and induction cooking ranges use radio waves to operate. So, when you buy a range or microwave listed as FCC compliant, you know that it is certified to operate on the radio frequencies that are designated for this type of device.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (18)

FCC Compliant:

The FCC symbol

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Plumbing and Drainage Institute (PDI)

The Plumbing and Drainage Institute is an organization that certifies products such as: floor drains, roof drains, grease interceptors, backwater valves, and other plumbing and drain-type equipment. Not only does this organization set standards for plumbing and drainage equipment, but it also develops certified testing, rating, and installation procedures. Products with the PDI certification meet the Plumbing and Drainage Institute's requirements and standards.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (19)

NTEP Certified:

The NTEP symbol

Standards for Accessible Design (ADA Compliant)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed on July 26, 1990. This law states that no one may discriminate against a person with disabilities and that those with disabilities must have the same opportunities as everyone else in terms of employment and access to goods and services. Since this act was signed into law, the Department of Justice has issued ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Products and equipment that meet the standards set forth by the Department of Justice are given the certification of ADA Compliant.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (20)

ADA Compliant:

The ADA Compliant symbol

Green Seal Certified

Items that are Green Seal certified meet Green Seal's standards for sustainability and are based on research done throughout the life cycle of a product. Green Seal's mission is to evaluate a product's impact on the health of people and the environment to determine whether or not it is safe for use. These evaluations are based on a rigorous set of requirements developed by Green Seal.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (21)

Green Seal Certified:

The Green Seal Certified symbol

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The U.S. Green Building Council is an organization that promotes sustainable building practices, including saving energy, using fewer resources, and reducing waste. Although the USGBC doesn't review or give certifications to individual products, it does have a program for certifying buildings called LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). The LEED program assesses how buildings are designed, built, and maintained and awards points for sustainable building practices. Once it has been determined that a building satisfies the requirements, its points are added up, and the building is awarded the LEED certification, which has different levels based on what specific requirements are met.

Restaurant Equipment Certification Marks Explained (22)

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What is NSF certified? ›

What Does the NSF Mark Mean? The NSF mark is your assurance that a product has been tested by a trusted independent certification organization. It is valued by consumers, manufacturers, retailers and regulatory agencies worldwide.

Is UL same as NSF? ›

NSF standards are generally accepted by government regulatory agencies. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an organization primarily dedicated to product safety. UL develops safety standards dealing with design, electrical, materials, components, and manufacturing.

What does NSF 7 mean? ›

NSF/ANSI 7: Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers

NSF/ANSI 7 establishes minimum food protection and sanitation requirements for the materials, design, manufacture, construction and performance of commercial refrigerators and freezers and their related components.

What does NSF-61 certified mean? ›

NSF-61 provides a universally accepted, 3rd-party verification that the pipes, gaskets, and meters utilized for water delivery are drinking water safe. This minimizes the liability faced by water systems and decreases the likelihood of costly repairs and updates in the future.

Is NSF a food grade? ›

Ensuring accountability from farm to fork, the NSF is known as “The Most Trusted Name in Food Safety™.” Today, the NSF mark is the only certification that identifies food safe chemicals.

What does C UL mean? ›

The C-UL mark is applied to products for the Canadian market. The products with this type of mark have been evaluated to Canadian safety requirements, which may be somewhat different from U.S. safety requirements. The optional C-UL-US mark indicates compliance with both Canadian and U.S. requirements.

Does restaurant equipment have to be NSF? ›

NSF requires the most specified certification and is so widespread that just about every new kitchen or restaurant will require NSF-certified products. Health Codes. Depending on your local health codes, certain pieces of equipment will most likely need to be NSF certified.

What does NSF 42 mean? ›


Filters are certified to reduce aesthetic impurities such as chlorine and taste/odor. These can be point-of-use (under the sink, water pitcher, etc.) or point-of-entry (whole house) treatment systems.

What does NSF 372 certified mean? ›

What does NSF/ANSI 372 or NSF 372 mean? NSF 372 is consistent with the United States Safe Drinking Water Act and meets the requirement of several U.S. states, including California. Testing determines the lead content based on the wetted surface area of products, not what the products themselves are made from.

What is a NSF rating? ›

NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation. If a fitting or pipe is NSF rated it just means it has passed some standard or test procedure and is certified for use in a residential or commercial plumbing project.

What is the difference between NSF 60 and 61? ›

NSF/ANSI Standard 60 includes requirements for chemicals that are used to treat drinking water; Standard 61 includes requirements for all materials that come in contact with drinking water...

What does NSF 60 mean? ›

NSF/ANSI 60: Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals – Health Effects is an American National Standard that establishes the minimum health-effects requirements for the chemicals, chemical contaminants and impurities that are directly added to drinking water from drinking water treatment chemicals.

What does NSF 61 9 mean? ›

Certify to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 with NSF. This standard assures that unsafe levels of lead and other harmful contaminants do not leach into drinking water.

Is NSF certification important? ›

NSF certification is your key to making sure that the products you use meet strict standards for public health protection. Choosing a product certified by NSF lets you know the company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF.

Does NSF mean food grade? ›

NSF, National Sanitation Foundation, is a non-profit organization founded in 1944, whose goal was to create standards for food safety and sanitation to promote public health. When you purchase NSF certified foodservice products, it means: The manufacturer of foodservice products uses only FDA approved raw materials.

What does NSF mean on vitamins? ›

One countermeasure is NSF (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation — now NSF International): an independent, third-party body that verifies the purity and safety of each batch of the dietary supplements it certifies.

What does NSF stand for in healthcare? ›

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a rare disorder that occurs in some individuals with reduced kidney function, who have been exposed to an intravenous contrast material that contains gadolinium. A contrast material is a dye that is sometimes used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


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