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Hotlines Galore

November 19, 2000|From Associated Press

Toll-free telephone services and Web sites offer a variety of specialist answers to cooking and food-safety questions during holiday preparation times. Here are some of them:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline: (800) 535-4555.

Food safety specialists answer calls about meat and poultry preparation and cooking questions, year-round Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day at the same number.

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: (800) 323-4848.

Home economists and nutritionists answer holiday cooks' questions, in both English and Spanish, for callers in the United States and Canada. 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. today; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day; 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays Friday through Dec. 22. Automated assistance is provided after hours. Hearing- and speech-impaired assistance (800) TDD-3848. On the Internet:

Foster Farms Turkey Helpline: (800) 255-7227.

Turkey-cooking questions are answered and information given by live operators 24 hours a day through Nov. 27. After that date, Helpline is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours automated service is available. Free brochures and recipes are offered. Web site:

Land O'Lakes Holiday Bakeline: (800) 782-9606.

Baking specialists are available for questions or suggestions 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 24. Free recipe leaflet for all callers. On the Internet:

Dial-A-Chef Holiday Hotline: (888) 723-4468.

Provided by Shady Brook Farms, a 24-hour, 7 days-a-week, automated culinary guidance and recipe service offered by famous chefs and winemakers, through Jan. 1. Available in Spanish. Web site:

Empire Kosher poultry customer hot line: (800) 367-4734.

Help is offered by consumer-affairs representatives year-round 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 a.m. to noon Friday. Program offers recipes, newsletter, video, tips on defrosting and cooking poultry. Closed Jewish and secular holidays, including Thanksgiving. On the Internet:

Ocean Spray consumer help line (800) 662-3263.

Year-round 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays, including Thanksgiving Day (closed Christmas Day, New Year's Day and other major holidays). Consumer department staff field questions on cranberries, offer recipes, cooking tips, nutritional information, menu-planning worksheets, product information. On the Internet:

Reynolds Turkey Tips Line (800) 745-4000.

A year-round 24-hour automated hot line; through Dec. 31 offers advice on turkey defrosting, preparation and cooking options, free brochure and recipes. Year-round Web site:

Only on the Internet: Cook's Illustrated magazine's site features detailed guidance and recipes, for preparing turkey and all the trimmings, including apple and pumpkin pies, with bright step-by-step visuals. The National Turkey Federation Web site has a Thanksgiving cooking tips page, with specific recipes and advice, among its year-round general information. includes a Holiday Entertaining Guide.

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