[Federal Register: March 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 54)]
[Notices]               
[Page 14939]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20mr00-41]                         


[[Page 14939]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 00-003N]

 
Meeting on HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is holding a 
public meeting to discuss its HACCP-based Inspection Models Project 
(HIMP) for slaughter plants. The purpose of this meeting, the latest in 
a series, is to present new inspection procedures and performance 
standards that the Agency is developing through the project for plants 
that slaughter young chickens. The Agency will also describe the 
rulemaking process that it intends to follow to implement these new 
inspection procedures and performance standards for all young chicken 
slaughter plants under Federal inspection should the data developed in 
the project support such an action. The meeting will conclude with an 
open discussion period.

DATES: The meeting will be held on March 30, 2000 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key 
Bridge, 1900 North Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22209, (703) 
807-2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To register for the meeting, contact 
Mr. Ron Niemeyer, of the FSIS Planning Staff at (202) 501-7247 or FAX 
(202) 501-7642 or e-mail: ron.niemeyer@usda.gov. Attendees who require 
a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations should 
contact Mr. Niemeyer at the above numbers by March 21, 2000. For 
technical information, contact Michael Grasso at (202) 205-0025, fax 
(202) 205-0058, email: Mike.Grasso@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The HACCP-based Inspection Models Project 
(HIMP) is an outgrowth of the Agency's Pathogen Reduction/Hazard 
Analysis and Critical Control Point (PR/HACCP) Systems Final Rule, 
published on July 25, 1996. The PR/HACCP rule calls for the 
establishment of a HACCP-based food safety system to reduce the risk of 
foodborne illness from meat and poultry products. In a Federal Register 
Notice of June 10, 1997, FSIS requested public comments on the design 
and development of new inspection models for slaughter and processing 
in a HACCP environment (62 FR 31553). This notice summarized 
recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences and the General 
Accounting Office that FSIS reduce its reliance on organoleptic 
(sensory) inspection and redeploy its resources by using inspection 
methods that are based on the risks inherent in meat and poultry 
slaughter operations. To accomplish these objectives, new inspection 
methods are being developed and tested that are consistent with the 
meat and poultry products inspection laws and the systems now required 
by the PR/HACCP rule. The HACCP-based Inspection Models Project is 
designed to help define the respective responsibilities of FSIS and the 
regulated industry in slaughter establishments operating under HACCP 
systems and to develop new approaches to inspection in plants 
slaughtering young, healthy, and uniform animals. A public meeting was 
held in Washington DC on July 27, 1998 (63 FR 39068, July 21, 1998) to 
discuss the project. Another public meeting on the project was held in 
Washington DC on December 2, 1998 (63 FR 63827, November 17, 1998) to 
discuss results from baseline testing in initial plants and projected 
activities.
    The March 30, 2000 meeting will specifically address activities in 
young chicken slaughter plants and will include the final report of 
baseline data collection results under current inspection procedures in 
young chicken slaughter plants participating in the project. The Agency 
will present performance standards for food safety and non-food safety 
concerns in HIMP young chicken plants. These performance standards are 
drawn from the baseline data collection results and will provide the 
terms by which HIMP young chicken plants will be measured. New 
inspection procedures are being designed to provide verification that 
plants are meeting these performance standards. FSIS intends to 
institute rulemaking to adopt new inspection procedures and performance 
standards for all young chicken slaughter plants under Federal 
inspection if the data developed in HIMP support such action.

Additional Public Notification

    Pursuant to Departmental Regulation 4300-4, ``Civil Rights Impact 
Analysis,'' dated September 22, 1993, FSIS has considered the potential 
civil rights impact of this notice on minorities, women, and persons 
with disabilities. Therefore, to better ensure that these groups and 
others are made aware of this meeting, FSIS will announce it and 
provide copies of the Federal Register publication in the FSIS 
Constituent Update. The Agency provides a weekly FSIS Constituent 
Update, which is communicated via fax to over 300 organizations and 
individuals. In addition, the update is available on line through the 
FSIS web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. The update is used 
to provide information regarding Agency policies, procedures, 
regulations, Federal Register Notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls 
and any other types of information that could affect or would be of 
interest to our constituents/stakeholders. The constituent fax list 
consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, 
allied health professionals, scientific professionals and other 
individuals that have requested to be included. Through these various 
channels, the Agency is able to provide information with a much 
broader, more diverse audience. For more information and to be added to 
the constituent fax list, fax your request to the Office of 
Congressional and Public Affairs, at (202) 720-5704.
    Transcripts of this meeting will be made available in the FSIS 
Docket Room, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street SW, Washington, 
D.C.

    Done in Washington, DC, on: March 14, 2000.
Thomas J. Billy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-6824 Filed 3-17-00; 8:45 am]
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