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Some answers to frequently asked questions. If your question and its answer are not in this FAQ, you can send it by e-mail to contact@openfoodfacts.org. Some more questions are answered on the FAQ on the website(French) (English version).

New FAQ system

Please mail contact@openfoodfacts.org or get in touch with the team if you'd like to help expand or translate the FAQ, from the new system.

Is information on products verified/checked?

The information is entered by Open Food Facts contributors. The contributors also send pictures of the packaging, the list of ingredients, and nutritional composition table. If in doubt, visitors can see the information for themselves, and if an error is found, they can correct it themselves.

To more easily identify potential errors, we gradually add automatic checks: If the composition of a product is very different from other products in the same category, it might be a mistake. If the sum of protein, carbohydrate, and fat is more than 100g, this is certainly a mistake.

Can I add product photos or information from the website of the manufacturer, shopping sites or other online sites?

Almost all of the other sites prohibit reproduction and reuse of their data, and this is also why we created Open Food Facts: To make the data available for all and for all purposes.

To avoid problems with rights, we ask contributors to add only photos they have taken themselves, and extract information from the product packaging.

See also this question on the French Ideas Forum: Pourquoi ne peut-on pas entrer les informations et les photos de produits d'autres sites? ("Why can we not get the information and pictures of products from other sites?")

English translation:

It may be tempting to copy the information and use the photos that are present on other product information sites, online sales sites, or directly from the manufacturer's website. This is not possible for the following reasons:

  • Reuse of data from other sources is not allowed in almost all cases (that's why we created Open Food Facts), and even if it was, it would not be compatible with the Open Database License. This is very important because not only does Open Food Facts put the data online, we also promote their reuse and distribution.
  • The data may be wrong (errors in entries, of conversions etc.) or incomplete. For this reason, there are photos of the ingredients list and nutritional information on Open Food Facts. This way the information provided can be checked and corrected, if necessary.

I am a manufacturer/producer of food, can I add my own products?

Absolutely! The only condition is to accept that the information, and especially the pictures, are placed under an open license (see Terms of use, contribution and re-use).

If you have a large number of products to add (more than 50), we can try to automatically add products and information. Contact us so that we can see how: contact@openfoodfacts.org

What is the difference to other web sites, mobile applications, and services that already offer viewing information on food products?

The main difference is our open data license, which we consider essential:

Almost all of the other sites, applications, and services do not allow the free reproduction and reuse of their data. They often jealously guard instead. In almost all cases, their conditions specifically prohibit any non-personal use and any extraction of some or all of the data.

We believe that the information on food products are too important and useful to keep them locked in a safe. We decided to do exactly the opposite: We not only allow, but also encourage the reproduction and reuse of our database, freely, for all and for any purpose, including commercial use.

Open data allows individuals, organizations, businesses, researchers, and the world to imagine and build applications using them that we would probably never thought of.

What is the business model of Open Food Facts?

Contributors are unpaid volunteers. Their contributions are collected in an open database, which can be reused by all and for all purposes (see Terms of use, contribution and re-use).

Every person who wishes to (including contributors and the Open Food Facts creator) can therefore redistribute it and/or reuse data to build such sites, services, software, mobile applications, or write items or conducting studies they are free to provide free, sell or monetize such as displaying advertisements.

Where can I download the data?

See this page: fr.openfoodfacts.org/data

Do you have any other questions? Let us know!

I scanned the wrong barcode / created a page by accident

Empty products, where just the barcode is present but nothing else is filled in, are automatically removed after a period of time.

What does "To be completed" mean? What are the states?

A list of states and their meanings can be found on the state Wiki page.