- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2003


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: 888/674-6854. Food safety specialists answer calls about meat and poultry preparation and cooking questions, year-round Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except tomorrow, when hours will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day at the same number. Also available in Spanish. Help available at www.fsis.usda.gov.

Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: 800/288-8372. Home economists and nutritionists answer holiday cooks’ questions, in both English and Spanish. Callers can request free pamphlet with safety and cooking tips and recipes. Help available at www.butterball.com.

Today: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tomorrow: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday to Dec. 23 (weekdays), 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 24-25, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 26, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Perdue Consumer Help Line: 800/473-7383. Consumer-relations representatives answer cooking, storage and other questions about poultry products weekdays year-round, except Friday and Christmas Day, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free booklet offer with tips on safe handling of poultry. Longer hours this week: Today, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tomorrow, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also: www.perdue.com.

Shady Brook Farms Turkey Line: 888/723-4468. An automated service offering information on buying and cooking turkeys. Also: www.shadybrookfarms.com.

Empire Kosher Poultry Customer Hot Line: 800/367-4734 or 717/436-5921. Help is offered by consumer-affairs representatives year-round Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; tomorrow, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Program offers recipes, newsletter, tips on defrosting and cooking poultry. Closed Jewish and secular holidays. Also: www.empirekosher.com.

Ocean Spray Consumer Help Line: 800/662-3263. Year-round, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Consumer department staff field questions on cranberries, offer recipes, cooking tips, nutritional information, menu-planning worksheets, product information. Also: www.oceanspray.com.

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. Also: www.reynoldskitchens.com.

Other Web sites include:

• Cook’s Illustrated’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; www.turkeyhelp.com.

• The National Turkey Federation Web site has Thanksgiving recipes and cooking tips, among its year-round general information; www.eatturkey.com.

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