Global public health organization NSF International has launched a new program that helps hotels, resorts and other hospitality settings prevent food and water contamination. The NSF International StaySafer™ program provides the hospitality industry with credible means to demonstrate the safety of its food and water.
The NSF StaySafer program combines inspection and testing for both a hotel or resort’s water systems and food service operations, which is essential as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than ten million overseas travelers contract illness from food and drinking water. The program includes:
- A review of the establishment’s written policies and procedures for both their food service operations and water systems, including food safety practices and training policies, water source and treatment systems, hotel schematics and plumbing blueprints
- An on-site facility inspection, including an evaluation of water distribution and treatment systems, as well as an evaluation of food service operations
- Annual facility audits and testing to ensure ongoing compliance to the program, including regularly scheduled testing and evaluation for microbiological and chemical contamination of drinking water and ice
Once the hospitality establishment has demonstrated its compliance with the auditing and testing requirements of the program, NSF StaySafer certification is granted. By adhering to these requirements, a hotel with the NSF StaySafer certification will help protect both its guests and its brand.
NSF International Latin America food division managing director Sonia Acuña-Rubio said: "Until today, there has not been a tool in place for consumers to determine the safety of the food and water of the hotel at which they are staying, especially when travelling abroad. The NSF StaySafer program assists the hospitality industry in establishing credible, third-party verified safety and quality programs that are of great value to consumers, travel agencies and hotel review websites."
The NSF StaySafer program also provides hotels, resorts and other establishments access to customized NSF International inspections that would cover other aspects of the hotel operations, such us room cleanliness, workout facilities, bottled water certification, food supplier approval and food equipment certification. These other inspections can be bundled with the NSF StaySafer inspections to provide additional cost savings to certified establishments.
Certified hotels will be listed in NSF’s online listings database and earn the use of the NSF StaySafer mark on marketing materials, displays and websites, so consumers and agencies can easily find compliant hotels.