What Are NSF Lighting Fixtures?
‘Food safety’ is a word you hear a lot in the food industry, and for good reason. It refers to the set of practices and standards by which kitchens and restaurants are expected to follow to prevent food-borne illness or injury. By safely handling, preparing, and storing food, kitchens can avoid potential health hazards, while keeping their employees and patrons safe. Little known is the fact that lighting fixtures must also be certified to be considered safe for food production settings. If you live in the United States, this means choosing a lighting fixture that meets NSF lighting requirements.
NSF Lighting Requirements: What Are They?
NSF Lighting fixtures are those that meet the rules of two separate government agencies that regulate, educate, and enforce strict standards to ensure the public is safe. These include:
NSF International (NSF), which ensures that products used in the food and beverage industry are safe and comply with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which oversees the development of national food safety standards to ensure public health.
Food Safe LED Lights must meet the rules of both agencies to be considered “NSF/ANSI 2 listed,” (or, NSF-certified for short) a certification that ensure the fixture is safe to use in food safety environments.
What does NSF certification technically ensure? NSF-certification ensures that the light fixture in question delivers adequate light output (as measured in footcandles) for both food prep and storage areas, and is 100% shatterproof, meaning the bulbs will never shatter when broken. It also ensures that the fixture is easily accessible, designed for easy cleaning, and resistant to dust, water, and other potential hazards. Furthermore, an NSF certified LED lighting fixture can be IP69K rated, meaning that it provides the highest degree of protection against liquid, debris, and dust.
How To Buy NSF Certified LED Lighting Fixtures
NSF certified lighting fixtures are required in all locations that perform food preparation and/or processing. This includes everything from factories that process meat or that prepare pre-packaged food, to restaurants, bakeries, cafeterias and commissary kitchens. They’re also required in food storage areas like walk-in refrigerators, pantries, as well as self-serve food areas like salad bars and buffets.
Furthermore, there are also specific “work zones” in each of these locations that require their own specifications. For example, dry food areas require an NSF-rated lighting fixture that emits at least 108 lux (10-foot candles) at a distance of 30 inches above the floor. You can refer to the FDA’s most recent edition of the U.S. Public Health Service Food Code for more information regarding specific “zones of light intensity” requirements.
Get All Your NSF Lighting Fixtures at PrimeLights!
Do you own a commercial kitchen or other food service operation?
Failure to meet NSF-Lighting requirements could lead to a violation, removal of your existing fixtures, or worse, a shutdown of your entire facility. That’s why it’s so important to ensure the lights you install in your facility are NSF-certified. Doing so can ensure your facility isn’t just food safe, but in compliance with the law.
Looking for lighting fixtures that are NSF-certified and energy efficient? PrimeLights is proud to offer a wide selection of NSF-certified LED lighting fixtures. Certified food-safe, they produce very high light output while consuming very little energy (and heat), so you and your staff can work safely, affordably, and comfortably.
Need help finding the perfect fixture? Give us a call today to speak to PrimeLights team member who can help you select the best NSF lighting fixtures for your facility!