Xybix's Blog

911 Turkey Troubles: How Some Emergencies are NOT for 911 Dispatchers

Posted by Kathleen Utley on Nov 25, 2014 11:48:00 AM


Turkey_911With Turkey Day upon us, it’s hard not to get caught up in the mess of things. “Last chance” this, “30% off” that, the ultimate “Black Friday” door-buster deal…

When the mall crowds pick up, people start frying turkeys, traveling to grandmas, and families come together, inevitably there will be an increase in 911 emergency calls. Lest we forget that there are several people who don’t get to spend the holiday(s) with their families, friends or loved ones. Yes, 911 dispatchers

(We want to take the time here to “thank you” all for everything that you do behind the scenes to help keep us safe and give us help even when that means being away from your family’s Turkey Day. We are very “thankful” for all of you!)

So, on a much lighter note, while dialing 911 is a VERY serious thing, we wanted to shed some light on what to do in case of a “TURKEY” emergency!

Did you know that there is a Butterball Turkey Talk hotline? (1-800-BUTTERBALL) (Sort of like a turkey 911 line) That’s right; it all started in 1981 when 11,000 people called during November and December.  Having Turkey Trauma? Not to fear, most disasters can be avoided this Thanksgiving with a quick call to the turkey hotline. Staffed by about 50 food experts, the hotline used to be staffed by mostly women, but now men are also a part of the Butterball turkey hotline. This makes sense, because according to Butterball CEO Rod Brenneman, one in four calls received at the Turkey Talk Line hotline are from men.

Fast forward to 2014, how many calls do you think the turkey hotline gets on Thanksgiving Day? The answer: well over 10,000 phone calls, plus thousands more questions on social media. Yes, if you are more of a visual learner, Butterball is on social media; loaded with great pictures ideas and more; check out their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram pages. (Each year the company assists more than 3 million cooks in November and December.) Most calls range from two minutes to a half hour.

One of the most frequently asked questions received is about the thawing of your turkey. Once a man called the hotline, panicked, because he'd buried his turkey in the snow in his yard, having run out of room in his freezer—then couldn't relocate it. While there is no advice to fix some things (Wink…wink I think you know what I mean), the hotline did advise that you can defrost a turkey more quickly by thawing it in cold water.


  • Thaw breast side down, in an unopened wrapper, with enough cold water to cover your turkey completely.
  • Change water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled.
  • Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.

We want to sincerely wish all 911 dispatchers a very safe, happy and uneventful Thanksgiving. And remember, while calling 911 in case of a real emergency is very serious, these Turkey Talk-Line stories aren’t and hopefully will give you something to laugh about this Thanksgiving!

Gobble, Gobble!

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Topics: Human Interest

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