Well, let's break that question down into a few more, and take a look...
NSF International, The Public Health and Safety Company™, is an independent, private, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that has tasked itself with helping the public by writing standards and testing procedures for food, water, and related equipment along with many other consumer goods. "NSF" was previously known as "National Sanitation Foundation" until the early 90's. NSF was founded in 1944, a time when the United States had no national sanitation standards. The first NSF Testing Laboratory was opened in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1952. NSF International has offices in over 100 countries and is respected around the world as a leader in public health and safety.
In protecting the public, one of NSF's primary tasks is to develop and publish national and international standards along with the scientific testing procedures and certifications for testing food, water, and related equipment (such as a Hot Dog Cart). These standards are created by NSF and continue to evolve and to be updated as determined by their governing body of specialists, scientists and engineers in their related fields. In creating these national standards, they create a better unified public health standard that many states, counties and cities are now using and requiring. By adopting the NSF food and equipment standards, they can allocate their time and resources to other meaningful activities, besides writing and maintaining their own county, city or state rules regarding the food equipment, equipment safety, food safety and food procedures. It really does make sense.
One of the specific standards that NSF has created is "2Standard 59, Mobile Food Carts2". The NSF Mobile Food Cart standard defines all of the specific criteria and specifications for a mobile food cart that is going to serve food directly to the general public. This will include how the cart is designed and manufactured to meet these criteria and the many different things that range from quality and construction materials to equipment safety and manufacturing procedures.
The process of properly designing and manufacturing a food vending cart, or a hot dog cart to be certified by NSF International is a fairly substantial project. To meet the NSF Standard and earn the right to utilize the prestigious NSF Mark of Certification (the blue circle), the vending cart must be fully inspected and scrutinized by NSF Inspectors at the manufacturing facility. In addition, the manufacturer's facility is inspected and audited regularly for proper manufacturing materials, material purchasing and logging procedures, and material quality compliance. And finally, the equipment (the hot dog cart) is shipped to the NSF Testing Facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan where their scientists and technicians do independent, environmentally controlled laboratory testing to determine whether the hot dog cart can perform to the strict NSF specification. The hot dog cart must heat to, and maintain proper food holding temperatures under less than ideal circumstances. This is a very important part of the certification procedure, because heating and keeping food at the proper temperatures (hot or cold) in many different climates is critical to public safety.
Ask an expert... Joel Goetz, the owner of DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts, has been involved in the food service business for over 30 years, and he has sold thousands of hot dog carts around the world during the last 20 of those years. This undoubtedly makes Joel an expert in the Hot Dog and Food Vending cart business. During the last several years, Joel has noticed and continues to see an upward trend in the United States where more and more states, counties and city municipalities are adopting NSF Standards, and will license only "NSF Certified" carts in their jurisdictions. In addition to the positive public safety aspects of adopting NSF standards, some townships are further utilizing the mandate of NSF certification to make sure that the quality and visual appeal of proposed vendor's carts are up to their own city or county standard (thus eliminating all home-built vending carts from their streets). With this trend continuing to grow, state by state, Joel found it imperative that his company, DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts, (already producing the finest quality equipment available anywhere) become fully and completely compliant with the changing times which are becoming more and more evident. Joel has determined that this is a positive trend that is good for the public and good for the professional vendors. It is definitely not going to slow down. In an effort to embrace the NSF standards becoming prevalent in so many areas, DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts has now completed the NSF Certification process for five of the most popular models. These five models are 100% NSF Certified and READY TO ROCK!
The first and foremost reason to buy your NSF hot dog cart from us is that DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts is all about PEOPLE. We are REAL PEOPLE that care about other REAL PEOPLE. We prefer to talk with you and get to know your needs and become valued advisors. Then if you feel that we can help you with what you need to start your business, we would be glad to. We are here to assist you before, during, and after the purchase of your hot dog cart. We are here to support you in any way that we possibly can to get your dreams off the ground and flying! We will be your personal experts, anytime that you need us...
The second reason is thatDreamMaker Hot Dog Carts designs and manufactures the very best performing, high quality vending carts available anywhere, and since many of our models are NSF certified, now they're even better! This is obviously important for you if your area requires NSF. But, even if your city or state doesn't require it now, it will certainly help future proof your investment in the event that the rules change in your area. Having your NSF Certification will undoubtably help make your inspections and licensing easier as well. The NSF logo (the blue circle) is VERY highly regarded in the food service industry and your health inspector will REALLY appreciate it! It can really help to make his job easier when he can write about your NSF cart in his notes at inspection and licensing time.
Lastly, there is always something to be said for a product that can hold it's value better than other models. From our experience, an NSF Certified hot dog cart will hold much greater long term value compared to a similar model without NSF. Occasionally you will come across certain special events that will request or even require NSF Certification. There are so many more options for an NSF Certified hot dog cart than without. You just never know what the future holds. You may need to move to a new area or state where NSF is required, or you may find the need someday to sell it. In that case, you would have many more possible buyers.
Potentially, as an entrepreneur food vendor, you would certainly want to find yourself in the best possible situation in the event that your state or local government decides that every food cart and hot dog cart will now have to be NSF Certified. Wouldn't it be nice to have that covered already? ... YES IT WOULD!
As a leader in mobile food cart design and manufacturing, DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts believes that to stay on top you must closely watch the industry trends and embrace the future.