Beyond Butterball: 7 Food Hotlines That Can Help You Out of a Kitchen Disaster

iStock/Kerkez
iStock/Kerkez

Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line (1-800-BUTTERBALL) is one of the biggest Thanksgiving helplines around, but it’s not the only show in town. Many companies now offer hotlines staffed with experts who want to help you prepare the best turkey possible—plus delectable side dishes and desserts. If you need a little help in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, here are a few other hotlines you can lean on.

1. USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline

Call 1-888-674-6854 or email MPHotline.fsis@usda.gov.
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ET)

If you’re unsure how long to leave your turkey in the oven, call up the Department of Agriculture’s handy hotline. They can also answer questions about other types of meat, egg products, and food storage.

2. Jennie-O Turkey Helpline

Call 1-800-887-5397 or launch the live chat
Live chat hours: 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. (CST)

One of Butterball’s competitors, Jennie-O, also offers a helpline. Check out their live chat, which is ideal for cooks in need of some quick answers.

3. Honeysuckle White Turkey Helpline

Call 1-800-810-6325
Available 24 hours a day

Another turkey brand, Honeysuckle White, has a holiday hotline you can call with questions about how to select, prepare, and cook a turkey. The messages are pre-recorded, but they still might do the trick.

4. Food52 Digital Hotline

Visit the Food52 website
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

Amanda Hesser, former food editor for The New York Times Magazine, launched this website and Q&A forum in 2009 to help solve people’s cooking conundrums. Just post a question to the online forum, and you’ll get a prompt response from one of Food52’s editors—or perhaps even a notable food writer or chef.

5. Crisco Pie & Baking Hotline

Call 1-877-367-7438
Thanksgiving hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

All your pie-related problems will be resolved when you call up the Crisco hotline. A National Pie Championship winner and other baking experts will be on hand to answer questions.

6. Sara Lee Pie Hotline

Call 1-888-914-1247
Thanksgiving hours: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CST)

Sara Lee Desserts offers another option for people with pressing pie questions.

7. Ocean Spray Holiday Helpline

Call 1-800-662-3263
Thanksgiving hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (ET)

If you have a question about cranberry sauce—or other cranberry-infused creations—then this is the hotline to call.

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

The World's Spiciest Chip Is Sold Only One to a Customer

Paqui
Paqui

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get pepper-sprayed directly in your mouth, Paqui Chips has something you can’t afford to miss. Following the success of their Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenges back in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine reports that the company has re-released the sadistic snack. Continuing their part-marketing gimmick, part-public safety effort, the Reaper chip won’t be sold in bags. You just get one chip.

That’s because Paqui dusts its chips with the Carolina Reaper Pepper, considered the world’s hottest, and most (attempted) consumers of the chip report being unable to finish even one. To drive home the point of how hot this chip is—it’s really, extremely, punishingly hot—the chip is sold in a tiny coffin-shaped box

Peppers like the Carolina Reaper are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that triggers messages of heat and pain and fiery consumption; your body can respond by vomiting or having shortness of breath. While eating the chip is not the same as consuming the bare, whole pepper, it’s still going to be a very uncomfortable experience. For a profanity-filled example, you can check out this video:

The chip will be sold only on Paqui’s website for $6.99 per chip or $59.90 for a 10-pack. The company also encourages pepper aficionados to upload photos or video of their attempts to finish the chip. If it becomes too much, try eating yogurt, honey, or milk to dampen the effects.

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