NSF International, a global independent public health organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries, has been approved by the Emirates Standard Metrology Authority (ESMA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to provide auditing and testing for the Emirates Quality Mark certification of bottled drinking water.

The Emirates Quality Mark verifies that products are compliant with the relevant UAE, international and Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO) standards and are manufactured by an organization implementing an effective food safety management system (FSMS) to ensure continuous compliance. By October 2014, Emirates Quality Mark certification is mandatory for all bottled waters sold in the UAE from both local and international bottlers. 

Manufacturers of bottled drinking water certified to the Emirates Quality Mark will undergo an on-site audit by NSF International to assess conformity with UAE standards and regulations. The bottling facility will be audited for implementing food safety programs, including a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system and Good Manufacturing Practices, and the product will be reviewed for microbiological and chemical quality.

“In its continuous endeavor of improving the quality of products, ESMA has made strategic partnerships with various global experts such as NSF International. The aim of these partnerships is to use their experience and knowledge in the relevant fields for long term sustainable gains,” said Abdulla Al Maeeni, Acting Director General for ESMA.

“Food safety management is essential for safer bottled water and NSF International can help beverage manufacturers across the globe gain access to the growing United Arab Emirates market. Bottled water manufacturers can streamline their certifications, saving time and costs, by using NSF to manage certifications to both NSF and Emirates Quality Mark standards, along with their global food safety approvals,” said Tom Chestnut, Senior Vice President, NSF International Global Food Safety and Quality Division. 

For over 30 years, NSF International has provided testing, auditing and certification to bottlers, retailers, associations, regulators and consumers globally in over 60 countries with over 800 bottled water audits conducted every year. NSF is the only beverage quality service provider that is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

NSF International’s bottled water certification is based on globally-accepted requirements and tests for over 160 chemicals, inorganic, radiological and microbiological contaminants. In addition, certification includes unannounced bottling facility audits, encompassing every aspect of the operation from the water source to the filling room. NSF‘s requirements focus on risk assessment and management activities and support Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards, FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements and HACCP.

To learn more about NSF’s bottled water/beverage services visit NSF’s bottled water and beverage webpage or contact the program at bq@nsf.org

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with Valbona Malo, global business manager for NSF International’s Beverage Quality Program, contact NSF Senior Communications Manager Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or +1 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide.  The NSF Beverages and Bottled Water Certification program conducts annual product testing and unannounced bottling facility audits that cover every aspect of a bottler's operation, from the source of the water through the disinfection and treatment process, including the container closure process.

Additional NSF International services include dietary supplement and nutritional ingredient certification; training, testing and consulting for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries; consumer product testing; drinking water certification and safety audits; sustainability solutions; and management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 9001, 22000, 14001).