Can I freeze eggs? How do I feed a family of four on only $80 a week? Is bottled water tested? For straight answers to these and other questions, here are several hot lines that have been set up to separate fact from fiction.
(800) 441-1991. Call the toll-free line for a free custom food shopping guide and menu plan. Chiquita Brands has created the Chiquita Value Line, a computer program that shows consumers how to get the best value from a weekly grocery budget, nutritionally and financially.
Here's what you do. Call the 24-hour 800 line and a recorded message will ask you about family size and grocery budget. The information is processed through a computer program that will produce a custom shopping guide based on individual nutrition and budget requirements. About a month later, you'll receive a computer-processed plan and guide in the mail, along with a Chiquita Value package that includes advice on shopping and eating healthfully, a seven-day menu plan and some helpful recipes. The Value Line will run through May 31.
(800) 2LA-CHOY. Looking to sizzle up those same old suppers? Call for a recorded message of timely tips using La Choy products. Leave your name and address, and you'll receive free copies of the "La Choy to the Rescue" booklet and newsletter.
(800) 535-4555. Grilling season is upon us. The grill experts at the USDA's hot line can answer your questions pertaining to the safe handling of meat and poultry. Call weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., EST.
(800) 727-5400. Is it a cold or an allergy? The Allergy Information Center & Hotline is a good resource when you need to know.
(800) 873-7775. Want the facts on bottled water? Leave your name and address on the machine to get a free copy of Arrowhead Drinking Water's brochure, "Bottled Water: What's In It For You?"
(800) SO-SWISS. A 24-hour, frequently updated hot line offering easy-to-prepare, warm weather recipes using Swiss Knight Light cheese.
(800) 777-4959. Questions about baking yeast breads? The Fleischmann's Yeast hot line is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
(800) 266-0200. A 24-hour food safety hot line, operated by the Alliance for Food and Fiber. Callers may access a bulletin board of food-safety topics from a touch-tone phone or leave a message. Callers who leave phone numbers will receive a return call by the next business day. Messages are picked up daily by the Alliance.
(800) 366-1655. Looking for a sensible diet? Feeding your kids too much sugar? Registered dietitians man the American Dietetic Assn.'s hot line from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Don't forget to ask for a copy of the "ADA's Nutrition InfoKit" on healthful eating.