[Federal Register: August 13, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 156)]
[Notices]               
[Page 50158-50159]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13au04-39]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-028N]

 
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: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice 
announces that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological 
Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold public meetings of the full 
committee and subcommittees on August 24-27, 2004. The committee will 
continue to discuss: (1) Performance standards for ground chicken/
ground turkey, (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.

DATES: The full Committee and subcommittees will hold open meetings on 
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 24-27, 2004, from 8:30 
a.m.-5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Hotel Monaco, Athens Room, 
700 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20004; telephone number 202-628-7177 
or 877-205-5411.
    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this notice. 
Comments may be submitted by mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, 
or by hand delivery to Docket Clerk, Department of Agriculture, Food 
Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102 Cotton 
Annex, Washington, DC 20250. All submissions received must include the 
Agency name and docket number 04-028N.
    Persons interested in making a presentation, submitting technical 
papers, or providing comments may send their requests, papers, or 
comments to the contact person identified herein at: 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Thomas, phone (202) 690-6620, 
fax (202) 690-6334, e-mail address: Karen.thomas@fsis.usda.gov.

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 foods, 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/ophs/nacmcf/charter.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 meetings the week of August 24-27, 2004, the Committee will 
discuss:
     Continuing work on performance standards for ground 
chicken/ground turkey;
     Continuing work on the scientific basis for establishing 
safety-based ``use by'' date labeling for refrigerated ready-to-eat 
foods; and
     Continuing work on the scientific criteria for redefining 
pasteurization.
    Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special 
accommodations should notify Ms. Thomas by August 17, 2004.

Availability of Advisory Committee Materials

    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 formats 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.
    All documents related to full committee meetings will be available 
for inspection in the FSIS Docket Room between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, as soon as they become available. All comments 
submitted in response to this notice, as well as research and 
background information used by FSIS in developing this document, will 
be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room at the 
address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday. The comments also will be posted on the Agency's Web site at 
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRDockets.htm.

    See the disclaimer section below regarding modifications that may 
be necessary due to the presentation of the comments. The NACMCF 
documents also will be available on the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRDockets.htm
.

    FSIS will finalize an agenda on or before the meeting dates and 
post it on the FSIS Internet Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRDockets.htm
.

    Also, the official transcripts of the August 2004 full committee 
meeting, when they become available, will be kept in the FSIS Docket 
Room at the above address and also will be posted on http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPHS/NACMCF/transcripts
.


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

[[Page 50159]]

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 ensure that the 
public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with 
disabilities, are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-line 
through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.

    FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication 
available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which 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 update is communicated via Listserv, 
a free e-mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and 
farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, 
scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to 
be included. The update also is available on the FSIS Web page. Through 
Listserv and the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a 
much broader, more diverse audience.

    Done in Washington, DC on August 9, 2004.
Barbara J. Masters,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 04-18501 Filed 8-12-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P