[Federal Register: April 18, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 75)]
[Notices]               
[Page 19916]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr18ap01-27]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety Inspection Service

[Docket No. 01-013N]

 
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of meeting; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria 
for Foods (NACMCF) will meet on May 7, 2001. The meeting is open to the 
public. The Committee will review scientific issues related to the 
Agency's Escherichia coli O157:H7 policy. The committee will also begin 
discussion of the charge contained in the conference report 
accompanying Public Law 106-387, which states that NACMCF should 
undertake to consider issues regarding microbiological performance 
standards, including the role of such standards in ensuring meat and 
poultry product safety. FSIS will finalize an agenda describing the 
specific charges to the Committee on or before the meeting date and 
post it to its internet web page.
    Additionally, on May 8, 9, and 10, 2001, FSIS invites Committee 
members to attend a technical conference and a public meeting regarding 
the Agency's recently proposed regulatory requirements for ready-to-eat 
meat and poultry products, ``Performance Standards for the Production 
of Processed Meat and Poultry Products.''

DATES: The full Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, May 7, 2001, 
beginning at 8:30 a.m.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 
Federal Ballroom, #10 Thomas Circle, NW, at Massachusetts Avenue & 14th 
Street, Washington, DC 20005, telephone (202) 842-1300. Send an 
original and two copies of comments to the Food Safety and Inspection 
Service Docket Room: Docket #01-013N, Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 
300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Comments may also be sent 
by facsimile (202) 205-0381. The comments and the official transcript 
of the meeting, when it becomes available, will be kept in the FSIS 
Docket Room at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Persons interested in making a 
presentation, submitting technical papers, or providing comments should 
contact Ms. Karen Thomas (202) 690-6620, Fax (202) 690-6634, e-mail 
address: karen.thomas@dcqexs1.hqnet.usda.gov, or mailing address: Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture, Office of 
Public Health and Science, Aerospace Center, Room 333, 1400 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. Persons requiring 
a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations should 
notify Ms. Thomas, by April 25, 2001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The NACMCF was established in April 1988, in response to a 
recommendation in a 1985 report of the National Academy of Sciences 
Committee on Food Protection, SubCommittee on Microbiological Criteria, 
``An Evaluation of the Role of Microbiological Criteria for Foods.'' 
The Charter for the NACMCF is available for viewing on the FSIS 
internet web page at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/programs/nacmcf_chart.htm
    The NACMCF provides scientific advice and recommendations to the 
Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services 
on public health issues relative to the safety and wholesomeness of the 
U.S. food supply including development of microbiological criteria and 
review and evaluation of epidemiological and risk assessment data and 
methodologies for assessing microbiological hazards in foods. The 
Committee also provides advice to the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention and the Departments of Commerce and Defense. Dr. I. Kaye 
Wachsmuth, Deputy Administrator, Office of Public Health and Science, 
FSIS, is the Committee Chair.
    At the May 7, 2001, meeting announced in this document, the 
Committee will review scientific issues related to the Agency's policy 
with respect to the following issues:
     Research on E. coli O157:H7 in blade tenderized beef 
steaks, including a preliminary study by scientists at Kansas State 
University.
     Technical issues related to scientifically determined 
criteria, including microbiological performance standards, and how such 
criteria and standards best function to provide scientific support for 
approaches to ensure the safety of meat and poultry products.

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, in an effort to better ensure 
that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this 
notice, FSIS will announce it and provide copies of this Federal 
Register publication in the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS 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://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov. 
The update is used to provide information regarding FSIS 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, FSIS is able to provide 
information to a much broader, more diverse audience. For more 
information and to be added to the constituent fax list, fax your 
request to the Congressional and Public Affairs Office, at (202) 720-
5704.

    Done at Washington, DC on: April 12, 2001.
Thomas J. Billy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 01-9622 Filed 4-17-01; 8:45 am]
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