NSF & GMP Certification
One of the ways we show our commitment to quality and integrity at Swanson is through our registration with NSF International for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for Supplement Manufacturers, Packagers and Distributors. These ensure that we maintain clean facilities, follow safe procedures and much more.
Proof of our current registration can be found at this link.
What is NSF?
NSF International was founded in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation. It is an independent, accredited organization that develops standards and tests and certifies products and systems. The NSF mark is a recognized symbol for its value in international trade around the world and is respected by regulatory agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
What GMPs Establish
Good Manufacturing Practices are required by the FDA to be implemented at supplement manufacturers, packagers and distributors. The full FDA requirements for supplements can be found online.
GMPs are guidelines that provide a framework for developing quality systems that ensure products will meet the requirements for identity, strength, composition, quality and purity. GMPs cover issues such as employee hygiene, facility cleanliness, food safety, sanitation practices, documentation practices and much more.
GMPs give the end goal (for example, our plant must be maintained in a manner to prevent contamination of products) but do not provide detail on what aspects must be considered to meet the requirement. While the FDA does not require us to have an independent third party audit, Swanson recognizes that utilizing an independent third party auditing service such as NSF, in conjunction with rigorous internal auditing programs, is the best way to ensure that quality programs are robust and follow best practices found in the industry.
We are committed to ensuring our GMP programs are among the best in the industry and welcome a third-party audit agency to review our quality programs in order to identify areas that need improvement. We chose NSF as they have the only accredited American National Standard in the dietary supplement industry. To maintain our NSF registration, we submit to two on-site audits each year.
What Happens During an NSF Audit?
In these, NSF assigns an auditor to our facility (Note: We are not allowed to choose our auditor). During the audit, the auditor inspects the entire facility and reviews our quality systems, which includes our quality policies, standard operating procedures, product specifications, test results and documentation. The auditor identifies any practices and programs that need improvement to meet NSF's rigorous standards and requires that we take appropriate action to correct the findings. During the second audit of the year, those corrective actions will be evaluated for appropriateness and effectiveness.
We take these seriously and know that keeping our registration with NSF current, and continuing to comply with GMPs, means that we can provide the safest environment for our employees while producing the best product for our customers.