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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you do not find the answer to your question here, please ask for help in our Contact Us link.

    Top Posting Recipes FAQs

    How do I pick a regional cuisine category for a recipe?

    Does the recipe you are submitting reflect the traditional type or style of cooking in a particular region? If so, then select that category. If not, then skip the regional cuisines -- you do not have to select a category if none are appropriate.

    You do not have to check off every region under a main region. Example: If a recipe fits under UNITED STATES but doesn't really reflect any one particular region of the US, don't select any of the specific US regions. Only select UNITED STATES. This way, someone looking for only Southern US recipes will be better able to find recipes that really represent the Southern US (or whichever region).

    You should not check off a regional cuisine category solely based on where you live. If the recipe is made in a special way that is unique to the area you live in, well then, of course, you can select the appropriate cuisine category, if we have it listed. But don't check off a cuisine just because you live in that region. The cuisine should be based on the recipe's origins only.

    You should not check off a regional cuisine based solely on your ancestry. Only select a particular region if the recipe has been passed down in your family and your family is from a particular region and that recipe reflects that region's style of cooking. However, if you happen to be Irish and Czech, don't automatically select Irish and Czech cuisines for all of your recipes -- only select regions appropriate to the particular recipe at hand.

    You should not check off a regional cuisine just because one ingredient is identified with a particular region. Certain ingredients may bring to mind certain locations and cultures but just because they are included in a recipe, that does not make the recipe appropriate for a regional cuisine.

    A note about the NATIVE AMERICAN category:

    Native American refers to recipes that were created by indigenous peoples and tribes native to North America, such as Iroquois, Seminole, Cherokee, Cree, etc. Another commonly used term in the past would be American Indians. There is also a First Nations category for recipes from such tribes indigenous to Canada.

    Recipes that are just generally American or Canadian can be place under the heading of America, Canada, or if they apply to both, simply North America. If they are historical recipes, there is also a separate category you can check off for that when appropriate.

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    Why should I add my recipes here?

    We really want you to share your recipes — that helps make Food.com a bigger and better recipe resource for everyone. Here are some key benefits:

    • Your recipes will be permanently accessible and, if published publicly, you can easily share them with friends.
    • We calculate the nutritional information for all of our recipes.
    • We can automatically scale your recipe to the servings you need.
    • Food.com has a handy shopping list tool for you to add to and print from.
    • You can save all your favorite recipes in one spot instead of you having to search through 10 different cookbooks or lots of bookmarks.
    • You can track the popularity of your recipes. Get feedback from other members as they review them and add suggestions.
    • It's free!
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    Formatting Guidelines for Submitting Recipes

    Our site understands just about every measurement and ingredient, but there are some things that will cause your recipe to be rejected:

    1. 1.Measurements and amounts must precede the ingredient.
      "1 cup sugar" NOT "sugar, 1 cup"
    2. 2.Food products are sold in differently sized packages — cans, boxes, containers, etc. -- around the world. Ingredients MUST include the weight or volume size of the package.
      "1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes" NOT "1 small can tomatoes" or "1 can tomatoes"
    3. 3.For this same reason, "cans" may not be used as measuring tools.
      NOT "1 can water"
    4. 4.Any included "mix" must include all items necessary to make it (so a cake mix needs the water, oil, eggs, etc. listed, too)
      NOT "1 cake mix, prepared according to package"
    5. 5.Only whole, decimal or fractional weight or volume measurements can be accepted. (see accepted measurements)
      NOT "1 handful basil" or "1 heaping cup flour" or "2 servings pasta" or "1 part oil, 1 part vinegar"
    6. 6.Other recipes cannot be included as ingredients, unless they can be purchased at the store.
      "1 prepared pie crust (I recommend...)" NOT "1 recipe of My Eggs Benedict"
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    How do I correct typos or errors in a recipe?

    We appreciate everyone's help in improving the recipes here. If the recipe has been published, click the "Submit a correction" link at the bottom of the recipe directions. If you spot a typo, missing ingredients or want to break up the steps listed, feel free to edit the recipe to make the change or add information. However, only the member who originally posted a recipe can make major updates to a recipe. Your suggested change won't show up immediately, but we will review the submitted corrections and update the recipe as soon as possible.

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    How long does it take for recipes to publish?

    We review and publish public recipes on a first come, first served order from Monday through Friday. We review recipes before they are published publicly to be sure they meet our formatting guidelines. This review process can take up to 48 hours or longer if you submit over a weekend or holiday. You will receive e-mail when your recipe is published.

    Recipes that you add for private use are added to your account as soon as you click submit.

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    How do you calculate nutrition information?

    Food.com uses the USDA nutritional information database, which classifies thousands of foods and gives their nutritional analysis, to compute the nutritional facts on our recipes.

    Nutritional totals are figured on a per-serving basis, including all foods in the ingredients list. We simply total the nutritional information for all foods in the ingredients of a recipe, and then divide by the number of servings it makes to arrive at the per-serving nutritional information. Please pay attention to what the serving size is that the Nutritional Facts are calculated on. If the person who posted the recipe does not provide servings information the Nutritional Facts will be calculated for the whole recipe.

    Ingredient sizing can vary. Some recipes specify an ingredient size as simple "1 can," "1 package," etc. Obviously, the size of the can or package you use may differ from the size the recipe author used. We encourage recipe authors to explicitly specify the exact size, but not all have. In these cases, Food.com assumes a standard size for the ingredient (10 3/4 ounces for a can of soup, for example) and uses this size to compute nutritional data.

    Optional ingredients or ingredients without discrete measurements are not included in the nutritional information. When an ingredient in a recipe does not have an explicit measurement, we cannot calculate nutritional data for it. We don't know if "salt, to taste" or "sour cream, to taste" means a teaspoon, a tablespoon or a cup to you. Therefore, we omit these ingredients from the nutritional computation. Likewise, if the ingredient is marked "optional," it is not included in the nutritional information.

    Specialty ingredients or branded products may not be recognized. The USDA nutrition information may not be updated with details on a specific packaged product or a specialty or diet ingredient.

    Our nutritional information is approximate (just like everyone else's). The USDA database is not complete and serving size information for many recipes is unknown, which leads to incomplete nutritional data. If you notice that a recipe isn't formatted correctly and that is affecting the nutrition analysis, we encourage you to submit corrections or add information to the recipe. You can do this by clicking the "Submit a correction" link at the bottom of the steps on any recipe.

    Always consult a registered dietician or your physician before embarking on any diet plan which relies on these numbers and for any other dietary questions.

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    Can I send you a recipe in e-mail to add it to Food.com?

    No. Unfortunately, we cannot accept recipes via e-mail.

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    Who decides if a recipe is Low Carb, Low Fat, Vegetarian, etc.?

    Some of our Dietary categories are set by the person who posts the recipe (Diabetic-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan), but most are set by Food.com after we have done the nutritional analysis on the recipe. See our standards for each category.

    Keep in mind that certain ingredients might be optional or there are other things with the recipe which affect the nutritional analysis.

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    Can I use trademarks/brand names in recipes?

    Brand name products are often protected in the United States by registering the name of the product with the US Trademark Office. If a name is trademarked (e.g. Food.com), the trademark can only be used in certain ways.

    You can always say that a recipe calls for a certain trademarked product in the ingredients list or directions, e.g. "1 cup mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman's)." This is basically free advertising for the company's specific product.

    You cannot title or otherwise imply that your recipe is the same as a particular brand name's product, e.g. "Hellman's Mayonnaise Recipe." This would obviously create confusion as to whether your recipe is the secret formula and endorsed by that company. However, you may include your opinions in your description for the recipe as long as it is clear it is your opinion, e.g. "I think this tastes as good as Hellman's."

    We do occasionally edit recipes to remove trademarked names used inappropriately at the request of the trademark owner.

    NOTE: Putting the "tm" next to the trademark name does not mean you have permission to use the name. For more information about trademarks, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

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    Why was a recipe marked as a duplicate and removed?

    We do not want duplicate recipes in our database. Duplicate recipes degrade our site's efficiency, annoy people searching for a recipe, and are unfair to the first person who posted a recipe.

    Before posting a new recipe or making a private recipe public, a member should perform a search to see if the recipe is already posted on Food.com. Mistakes happen sometimes and duplicates get through. You can notify us of potential duplicate recipes by clicking on the Contact Us link and we will evaluate the recipes.

    When a recipe is determined to be a duplicate, we remove it and redirect everyone to the primary recipe (usually the first one posted): (1) searches for the deleted recipe are automatically directed to the primary recipe; (2) cookbooks are updated to include the primary recipe; (3) any reviews and photos transfer to the primary recipe; (4) the person who posted the duplicate is notified.

    If yours is marked as a duplicate, we understand that the recipe might have sentimental value to you, and you might feel let down that your name is no longer on the recipe. If that is the case, we encourage you to post the recipe privately, so that you can privately store and print the recipe with your name and unique description.

    If you think your recipe was removed by mistake, use the Contact Us link and let us know why your recipe is not a duplicate, and we'll re-check your recipe.

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    Have another question? Ask us in our Contact Us link.

    Is there something we should be answering here, but don't? Let us know in the Contact Us link.

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