You might notice that some of the shelves in your warehouse come with an “NSF” label. If you’re unsure of what NSF stands for, it is the abbreviation for the the National Sanitation Foundation and is used to identify shelving that meets NSF guidelines and regulations.
When you’re looking for the right shelving to add to your warehouse, you’ll discover that there are numerous options available to you. Identifying which shelving is best can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for and which characteristics are most important to your facility.
Some types of industrial wire shelving are outfitted with the NSF label, which indicates that the shelves are made from safe materials. This guide should provide you with all you need to know about NSF-approved shelving.
The Importance of NSF-approved Shelving
In order for a product to become NSF-certified, it must meet strict safety standards that the NSF maintains, which is why this certification is important. When you place NSF-approved shelving in your warehouse or facility, you can be confident that it will hold up well regardless of the conditions and won’t quickly deteriorate because of corrosion or similar problems.
Why NSF-approved Shelving is Important
One of the primary reasons that NSF certification labels are placed on shelving systems is to show customers which shelving can be effectively used in healthcare, food, and laboratory industries. The NSF maintains a comprehensive list of health and safety considerations that these shelves will need to meet before the label can be affixed to the units.
The NSF certification label also ensures the durability and quality of shelving materials. This type of wire shelving has been assessed by an independent body as opposed to the manufacturer, which means that the units that receive the NSF label are made with materials that are suitable for all settings. Industrial wire shelving with the NSF certification also provides protection against corrosion and contamination by reducing the buildup of debris and rust.
How to Obtain NSF Certification for Shelving
The NSF certification process can differ slightly depending on the product or service that’s being certified. In most cases, the steps involved with this process include:
- Submission of application and necessary information
- Product evaluation
- Product testing in laboratory
- Inspection of manufacturing facility
- Product sampling and confirmation
- Review and acceptance of test results
- Signing of contract
- Annual plant inspection
In the application that the manufacturer submits, they need to provide the NFS with any important information pertaining to the product, which can include the location where the product is manufactured, the materials that are used to make the product, and the product’s intended use.
When NSF professionals inspect a product, they will assess the product’s construction, design, safety, efficacy, and numerous other variables, most of which are performed with lab testing. Once these factors are examined, the inspectors will walk around the manufacturing facility to ensure that the product is being properly manufactured. If products don’t meet NSF standards, the manufacturer will be given a detailed report on the issues that must be corrected before the NSF label can be applied.
The next step in this process occurs after NSF team members review results and indicate that the manufacturer has passed all of the necessary requirements. In this scenario, an NSF certification contract is signed between both parties, which allows the NSF international logo to be placed on all products that qualify.
Keep in mind that a product that receives this certification shouldn’t drop below the necessary standards after the label is affixed to the product. The NSF organization will send some of their experts to perform regular retesting to make sure that the certified status is maintained.
Keep in mind that NSF certifications differ depending on the type of wire shelving that’s being used. The certification for dry shelving means that the shelving is perfectly safe for medical and food products when used in a dry environment. A few examples of these environments include supply rooms, grocery displays, and pantries.
If you want to select the right shelving materials, your choice mainly depends on what industry you operate out of. In the event that your facility is going to store food, medical supplies, or food equipment, this type of shelving is likely required. When you use NSF-certified wire shelving, you’ll know that the materials won’t be harmful to the products that are being stored.
Make sure that you use the right shelving in the right environment. Wire shelving that’s been dry-certified can’t be used in wet environments. It’s also essential that you don’t store raw food on dry wire shelving. These items need to be placed in the right containers before they are stored on your shelving units.
Industries that Use NSF-approved Shelving
There are several industries that routinely use NSF-approved shelving, the primary of which include:
- Foodservice industry – Cafeterias, restaurants, and catering services
- Laboratory industry – Research labs, clean rooms, and pharmaceutical labs
- Healthcare industry – Hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics
Most industries and facilities that are tasked with storing sensitive materials will use industrial wire shelving that is NSF-approved. For instance, the electronics industry commonly uses this type of shelving. While the presence of an NSF certification means that strict safety standards have been met, there are times when additional storage requirements have been put in place by governing bodies. Check your local building codes and safety guidelines before purchasing shelving for your warehouse.
Benefits of Using NSF-approved Shelving
There are many benefits of using NSF-approved shelving. For one, this type of shelving comes with versatile configuration capabilities. NSF-approved wire shelves are built with steel beams that have incremental positional markings. All of these shelves are strengthened with a mesh pattern as well as support wires.
Because of the basic construction, NFS-approved shelves can be crafted according to the exact requirements you have for your warehouse or facility. Some of the appliances that can be added to these shelves include plastic bins for better organization and wheels for enhanced mobility.
NSF-approved wire shelving also allows for cleanliness and a considerable amount of ventilation. The mesh wire construction ensures that flow-through ventilation is maintained throughout every storage container and level.
In other storage shelving units, condensation buildup is common, which can damage products and cause you to waste a large sum of money. In comparison, this type of wire shelving eliminates condensation buildup because of the constant ventilation of cool air. The air circulation that occurs will also keep dust and dirt buildup at bay, which is necessary in medical environments and other settings where sterilization is essential.
As touched upon previously, NSF-approved shelving can be purchased with bin storage, which is perfect for storing smaller parts like elastic, medical tape, and other items that may be situated in your warehouse. The availability of bin storage makes it possible to easily transport goods, replenish storage, and perform batch picking.
In order for shelving to be NSF-approved, it must be made from materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion, which means that these shelving materials have increased longevity and durability. The capacity of these shelves can be hundreds of pounds depending on the width and depth of the shelves as well as the structure.
If you select these shelving units, you can also be confident that they are fully compliant with all important industry regulations and standards. These shelves have a clean and stylish appearance that work well in practically any setting. The sleek nature of the construction means that high product visibility is simple to maintain.
Why Choose QMH?
If you’re building a new warehouse or upgrading your current shelving systems, our team at QMH can help you select the best NSF-approved shelving solutions for your facility. We have been in the business for years and know how to make sure that the products our clients choose adhere to all compliance regulations in the related industry. Before we begin searching for shelving units to add to your facility, we’ll take some time to learn about your specific needs before helping you choose the right shelving.
NSF-approved shelving is highly recommended for practically any facility. While this shelving is only required in such industries as healthcare and foodservice, other industries would benefit from them because of their wire mesh design and resistance to corrosion.
When you’re trying to select the right NSF-certified shelves for your industry, make sure that you take the size of your facility into account. If you have limited floor space, smaller shelving units may be necessary. These shelves are available in numerous sizes and weight capacities. Before making your decision, consider the weights of the items you store in your facility. This information should simplify the decision-making process.