[Federal Register: August 2, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 149)]
[Notices]               
[Page 50409-50411]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02au02-24]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 02-027N]

 
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria 
for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a public meeting on August 28, 2002. The 
committee will continue to discuss (1) Salmonella performance standards 
in meat and poultry products, (2) the scientific basis for establishing 
safety-based ``use by'' date labeling for refrigerated, ready-to-eat 
foods, (3) undertake a new topic of assessing the analytical utility of 
Campylobacter

[[Page 50410]]

identification and quantification methodologies, and (4) introduce a 
new topic discussing redefining the meaning of the term 
``pasteurization.'' Subcommittees will also meet on August 26th 
(performance standards), and the 27th and 29th (safety-based ``use by'' 
date labeling for refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods) to continue working 
on issues in-progress that will be discussed during the full committee 
session. In addition, a subcommittee will convene on August 6-8, 2002, 
to continue its discussion of performance standards and discuss the new 
charge to the committee regarding the FSIS Campylobacter baseline 
studies.

DATES: The full Committee will hold an open meeting beginning at 9 a.m. 
on Wednesday, August 28, 2002. During the week of the plenary session, 
subcommittee meetings will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 
August 26, 27 and 29, 2002. Also, a subcommittee will meet Tuesday 
through Thursday, August 6-8, 2002. Subcommittee meetings are open to 
the public.

ADDRESSES: The August 27-29 subcommittee and full committee meetings 
will be held at the Jurys Washington Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave., 
NW., Washington, DC, 20036. The subcommittee meetings schedule for 
August 6-8, and 26, 2002, will be held at the Aerospace Building, 901 
``D'' St., SW., Washington, DC. The comments and all NACMCF documents 
related to this meeting will be available for public inspection in the 
FSIS Docket Room between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday. The comments and NACMCF documents will also be available on the 
Internet at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/Publications.htm. FSIS 
will finalize an agenda on or before the meeting date and post it to 
its Internet Web page. Send an original and two copies of comments to 
the Food Safety and Inspection Service Docket Room: Docket #02-027N, 
Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20250. Comments may also be sent by facsimile (202) 690-0486. The 
comments and the official transcript of the meeting, when they become 
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 Karen Thomas (202) 690-6620, Fax (202) 690-6334, e-mail 
address: Karen.Thomas@fsis.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 August 16, 2001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The NACMCF was established on April 18, 1988, in response to a 
recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences for an interagency 
approach to microbiological criteria for food, and in response to a 
recommendation of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on 
Appropriations, as expressed in the Rural Development, Agriculture, and 
Related Agencies Appropriation Bill for fiscal 1988. 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. Merle 
Pierson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA, is the Committee 
Chair, Dr. Robert E. Brackett, Director for Food Safety, Center for 
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, is the 
Co-Chair, and Brenda Halbrook, FSIS, is the Director of the Executive 
Secretariat office.
    At the August 28, 2002, meeting, the Committee will
     Discuss Salmonella performance standards in meat and 
poultry products;
     Discuss the scientific basis for establishing safety-based 
``use by'' date labeling for refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods; and
     Undertake a new topic of assessing the analytical utility 
of Campylobacter identification and quantification methodologies.
     Introduce a new topic discussing redefining the meaning of 
the term ``pasteurization.''

Documents Reviewed by NACMCF

    FSIS intends to make available to the public all materials that are 
reviewed and considered by NACMCF regarding its deliberations. 
Generally, these materials will be made available as soon as possible 
after the full committee meeting. Further, FSIS intends to make these 
materials available in both electronic format on the FSIS web page, as 
well as hard copy format in the docket room. Often, an attempt is made 
to make the materials available at the start of the full committee 
meeting when sufficient time is allowed in advance to do so.
    FSIS also intends to post all comments associated with this docket 
on its web page in the near future. FSIS reserves the right to redact 
any offensive language that may have been included in these public 
comments. The uncensored text will be made available in the FSIS Docket 
Room.
    For electronic copies, all NACMCF documents and comments are 
electronic conversions from a variety of source formats into HTML that 
may have resulted in character translation or format errors. Readers 
are cautioned not to rely on this HTML document. Minor changes to 
materials in electronic format may be necessary in order to meet the 
Web Accessibility Act requirement in which graphs, charts, and tables 
must be accompanied by a text descriptor in order for the vision 
impaired to be made aware of the content. FSIS will add these text 
descriptors along with a qualifier that the text is a simplified 
interpretation of the graph, chart, or table. Portable Document Format 
(PDF) and/or paper documents of the official text, figures, and tables 
can be obtained from the FSIS Docket Room.
    Copyrighted documents will not be posted on the FSIS web site, but 
are available for inspection in the FSIS docket room.

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 make copies of this Federal Register 
publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS 
provides a weekly Constituent Update, which is communicated via 
Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service. 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 Listserv

[[Page 50411]]

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 the Listserv 
and Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, 
more diverse audience.
    For more information contact the Congressional and Public Affairs 
Office, at (202) 720-9113. To be added to the free e-mail subscription 
service (Listserv) go to the ``Constituent Update'' page on the FSIS 
Web site at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/update/update.htm. Click on the 
``Subscribe to the Constituent Update Listserv'' link, then fill out 
and submit the form.

    Done at Washington, DC, on July 30, 2002.
William J. Hudnall,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 02-19529 Filed 8-1-02; 8:45 am]
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