[Federal Register: December 23, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 246)]
[Notices]               
[Page 74205-74206]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23de03-33]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 03-041N]

 
Public Meeting on New Technology: The State of Food Safety 
Technologies To Enhance Public Health

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will hold a 
public meeting on January 13, 2004, to discuss the development and use 
of new food safety technologies to enhance public health.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 13, 2004, 
from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel, 
1616 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68102;

[[Page 74206]]

telephone (402) 346-7600. A tentative agenda will be available in the 
FSIS Docket Room and on the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov. An 

official transcript of the meeting, when it becomes available, will be 
kept in the FSIS Docket Room, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Perfecto Santiago, Executive 
Associate for Program Development, at (202) 205-0699. Registration for 
the meeting will be onsite. FSIS encourages attendees to pre-register 
as soon as possible by contacting Ms. Mary Harris of the FSIS Strategic 
Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach Staff at (202) 690-6497 or by e-
mail to mary.harris@fsis.usda.gov or fax (202) 690-6500. If a sign 
language interpreter or other special accommodations are necessary, 
please contact Ms. Harris no later than December 31, 2003.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The 2003 FSIS Food Safety Vision Statement states that FSIS is 
implementing several new initiatives in order to continue towards its 
vision for food safety, including expediting the review and 
implementation of safe interventions at slaughter and processing 
plants. FSIS reviews new technologies that establishments plan to 
employ to ensure that the use of these technologies is consistent with 
agency regulations, and that the technologies will not adversely affect 
product safety, inspection procedures, or the safety of FSIS inspection 
program personnel. In August 2003, the Office of the Under Secretary 
for Food Safety, United States Department of Agriculture, announced 
that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had established a 
New Technology Staff to streamline the implementation of new 
technologies in an establishment's operations and to reduce the amount 
of time it takes the agency to review these new technologies. The New 
Technology Staff will place significant emphasis on fostering the 
development and use of new technologies that can help reduce pathogens 
on meat and poultry products.
    One purpose of this public meeting is to promote and facilitate an 
exchange of the latest information on new and emerging technologies of 
public health significance. In particular, FSIS will use the meeting to 
explore how small and very small plants can avail themselves of these 
technologies in their operations. The Agency also intends to use the 
meeting to explore ways to reduce the time between the development and 
implementation of new technologies.
    Main topics to be discussed at the public meeting are as follows:
    (1) The Agency's new procedures and ways to expedite even further 
the process for making promising food safety technologies available for 
use, including ways that FSIS and stakeholders can work together to 
make emerging technology more widely available. The stakeholders 
include academia, state governments, industry, consumers, and other 
government agencies. (2) Emerging technologies that have been 
commercialized or will soon be commercialized. These new technologies 
include the following categories:
    a. Pre-slaughter operation interventions that treat the animal 
before slaughter operations begin, such as hide treatment and bacteria 
exclusion in the animal;
    b. Decontamination methods during slaughter and processing 
operations, such as antimicrobials being used on the carcass;
    c. Sanitation interventions to decontaminate product contact 
surfaces or to treat the environment in the slaughter and processing 
areas to exclude or remove organisms such as Listeria monocytogenes.

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://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 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://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 in Washington, DC on December 17, 2003.
Garry L. McKee,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 03-31542 Filed 12-22-03; 8:45 am]