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, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day, when hours will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Recorded information is available 24 hours a day at the same number. Also available in Spanish. On the Net: www.fsis.usda.gov.
Butterball Turkey Talk-Line: (800) 288-8372. Home economists and nutritionists answer holiday cooks' questions, in both English and Spanish, for callers in the United States and Canada. Callers can request free pamphlet with safety and cooking tips and recipes.
Today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thanksgiving Day, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday to Dec. 23, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 24 to Dec. 25, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 26, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On the Net: www.butterball.com.
Foster Farms Turkey Helpline: (800) 255-7227. Turkey-cooking questions are answered and information given by live operators 24 hours a day Nov. 19 through Dec. 1 (including Thanksgiving Day). Before and after those dates, the helpline is available 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. On the Net: www.fosterfarms.com.
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