[Federal Register: February 2, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 21)]
[Notices]               
[Page 4918-4920]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr02fe04-16]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety Inspection Service

[Docket No. 03-049N]

 
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 of the full committee on 
February 13, 2004. The committee will discuss: (1) Performance 
standards for broilers (young chickens)/ground chicken, (2) the 
scientific basis for establishing safety-based ``use by'' date labeling 
for refrigerated ready-to-eat foods, and (3) scientific criteria for 
redefining pasteurization. Subcommittees will also meet as follows:

February 10th--Microbiological Performance Standards for Broilers 
(young chicken)/Ground Chicken 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
February 11th--Criteria for Refrigerated Shelf-Life Based on Safety 
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
February 12th--Scientific Criteria for Redefining Pasteurization 8:30 
a.m.-12 p.m. and Criteria for Refrigerated Shelf-Life Based on Safety 1 
p.m.-5 p.m.

DATES: The full Committee will hold an open meeting on Friday, February 
13,

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2004 from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Subcommittee meetings will be held on 
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, February 10, 11 and 12, 2004. 
Subcommittee meetings are open to the public.

    Note: FSIS was not able to publish notification of this public 
meeting in the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to the 
meeting, as required by Departmental Regulation 1041-001, due to 
late changes in the agenda.


ADDRESSES: The February 10-13 sub- and full-committee meetings will be 
held at the Sheraton Buckhead, 3405 Lenox Road; NE, Atlanta, GA 30326; 
telephone number 404-261-9250. Public comments and all documents 
related to full committee meetings 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://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 
03-049N, Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 12th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250. Comments may also be sent by facsimile to (202) 
205-0381. The comments and official transcripts of the February 13, 
2004 full committee meeting, when they become available, will be kept 
in the FSIS Docket Room at the above address and will also be posted on 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPHS/NACMCF/transcripts.

    FSIS intends to post all comments associated with this docket on 
its web page in the near future. The comments will also be made 
available in the FSIS Docket Room. See the disclaimer section below 
regarding modifications that may be necessary due to the presentation 
of the comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Persons interested in making a 
presentation, submitting technical papers, or providing comments should 
contact Karen Thomas, phone (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 January 30, 2004.

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 year 1988. The Charter 
for the NACMCF is available for viewing on the FSIS Internet Web page 
at 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 of Food and Drug 
Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), 
is the Vice-Chair, and Gerri Ransom, FSIS, is the Executive 
Secretariat.
    At the February 13, 2004, meeting, the Committee will:

 Discuss performance standards work on the 
commodities of broilers (young chickens)/ground chicken
 Discuss continuing work on the scientific basis for 
establishing safety-based ``use by'' date labeling for refrigerated 
ready-to-eat foods
 Discuss continuing work on the scientific criteria 
fora redefining 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 in 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.
    DISCLAIMER: 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 electronic and information technology accessibility standards 
contained in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act 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 
will be 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, 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 other types of 
information that could affect or would be of interest to our 
constituents and 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

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the Constituent Update Listserv'' link, then fill out and submit the 
form.

    Done at Washington, DC, on January 29, 2004.
Garry L. McKee,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 04-2131 Filed 1-29-04; 1:41 pm]