External Website Review Criteria

Potential website links are considered through a review process. The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) links to any website that meets our evaluation criteria. They are evaluated as to appropriateness within the scope by trained nutrition professionals, most of whom are Registered Dietitians. The FNIC staff evaluates all suggested links using the following criteria:

Quality and Content

      • Content - material should be presented in an objective, balanced manner. Information should be referenced and verifiable.
      • Scope - the subject matter of the site should focus on food, nutrition or food safety.
      • Authorship/Authority - the author of the website should be clearly stated, well defined and reputable.
      • External Links - links available from the site should be reputable, up-to-date and dependable to the extent that can be reasonably determined.
      • Currency/Timeliness of Information -the information on the site should be current and well maintained.
      • Audience - material should be geared and written towards nutrition and health professionals, educators, government personnel and, where appropriate, consumers.

Site Mechanics

      • Navigability - it should be easy to find information on the site. Headings should be clear and relevant to the information under them.
      • Searchability - the site should have search capability that produces accurate results (unless it is a very small site or link will be to a specific document such as a brochure or fact sheet).
      • Contact Information - contact information should be available to communicate with the owner of site (i.e. comments section, email address, mailing address, telephone number).
      • Personal Information - if user's personal information is requested, the site should explain exactly how the information will and will not be used. Privacy policy should be clearly visible.

Additional Features

      • Graphics and Layout - graphics, illustrations and other multimedia designs should enhance the site and load within a reasonable length of time. They should not distract the user or substitute for content.
      • Software and Hardware - the site should incorporate appropriate use of graphics, audio and/or video. If use of special plug-ins or programs is required they must be available on the site with clear and easy instructions.
      • Uniqueness - the site should offer something unique to the FNIC site

Commercial Sites

      • Content - must provide an aspect of nutrition education that is accurate, substantive, unique, credible and objective.
      • Originality - information provided on this site is not available on a government site.
      • Substance - nutrition information provided must be of substantial and of high quality, regardless of product or service.
      • Advertisements - should be minimal and clearly differentiated from the informational content of the site. They should not detract from or conflict with web content.
      • Products and Services - if products and services are advertised, they must be reliable food and nutrition products.


If you feel your website meets all the criteria described above, please submit your web address to us via email . Please note that we cannot accept attachments.