Program to help prevent food, water contaminants in hospitality industry

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ANN ARBOR, MI, Feb. 26, 2014 -- In an effort to help hotels, resorts and other hospitality settings prevent food and water contamination, global public health organization NSF International has launched a new program for the industry that provides a credible means to demonstrate the safety of its food and water to travelers, agencies and hotel rating websites.

Called "NSF International StaySafer™," the program combines inspection and testing for both a hotel or resort's water systems and foodservice operations, which is essential, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 10 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 foodservice operations and water systems, including food safety practices and training policies, water source and treatment systems, hotel schematics, and plumbing blueprints.

Annual facility audits and testing to ensure ongoing compliance to the program. This includes regularly scheduled testing and evaluation for microbiological and chemical contamination of drinking water and ice.

An on-site facility inspection, which includes:

- An evaluation of the water distribution and treatment systems against NSF draft standard 432: Water Safety Standard for the Global Hotel Industry is conducted. This inspection verifies the safety of the design and maintenance of the hotel or resort's water and ice systems. Water and ice samples are collected from various locations within the hospitality establishment and tested for chemical and microbial contaminants.

- An evaluation of foodservice operations against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code is conducted to verify that proper food safety systems and personnel training are in place to reduce the risk of foodborne contaminants.

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. Certified hotels will be listed in NSF's online listings database and earn the use of the NSF StaySafer mark on marketing materials and displays, as well as their website so consumers and agencies can easily find compliant hotels.

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, among others. These other inspections can be bundled with the StaySafer inspections to provide additional cost savings to certified establishments.

About NSF International

NSF International is an independent global public health and safety organization that develops standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, dietary supplement and consumer products industries, and provides testing, training and auditing services for the pharma/biotech and medical device industries. For more information, visit www.nsf.org.

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