[Federal Register: September 9, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 174)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 53582-53586]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr09se05-16]                         

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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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[[Page 53582]]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 381

[Docket No. 04-033P]
RIN 0583-AC60

 
Allowing Bar-Type Cut Turkey Operations To Use J-Type Cut Maximum 
Line Speeds

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to 
amend the Federal poultry products inspection regulations to provide 
that turkey slaughter establishments that open turkey carcasses with 
Bar-type cuts may operate at the maximum line speeds established for J-
type cuts, if the establishment uses the specific type of shackle 
described in this proposed rule. Under this proposed rule, as under 
current regulations, the inspector in charge will reduce line speeds 
when, in his or her judgment, the prescribed inspection procedure 
cannot be adequately performed within the time available because of the 
health conditions of a particular flock or because of other factors. 
Such factors include the manner in which birds are being presented to 
the inspector for inspection and the level of contamination among the 
birds on the line.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 8, 2005.

ADDRESSES: FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
proposal. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, and hand- or 
courier-delivered items: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., 
Room 102 Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov.
 Follow the online instructions at that site for 

submitting comments. Electronic mail: 
fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.

    All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket 
number 04-033P.
    All comments submitted in response to this proposal, 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/regulations_&_policies/2005_Proposed_Rules_Index/index.asp
.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Shaukat Syed, Director, New 
Technology Staff, Office of Policy, Program, and Employee Development, 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Washington, DC 20250; (202) 205-0675.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) requires post-mortem 
inspection of all carcasses of slaughtered poultry subject to the Act 
and such reinspection as deemed necessary (21 U.S.C. 455(b)). Under 
traditional post-mortem turkey inspection, one inspector inspects the 
whole bird and is responsible for the proper disposition of the bird, 
including any required trimming, before it leaves the inspection 
station. Under the New Turkey Inspection (NTI) System regulations, one 
or two inspectors on each eviscerating line examine the whole carcass 
and viscera of each bird. Establishments are responsible for 
independently performing the necessary trimming of designated defects 
on passed carcasses. Establishments also must meet certain facilities 
requirements to use the NTI System (9 CFR 381.36(e)). The NTI System 
allows establishments to run their eviscerating lines at a faster rate 
than they can under traditional inspection.
    The NTI System regulations (9 CFR 381.68) provide maximum line 
speeds for: (1) One inspector and two inspector lines; (2) light (under 
16 pounds) and heavy (over 16 pounds) turkeys; and (3) turkeys with J-
type cut openings and turkeys with Bar-type cut openings.
    Some turkey slaughter establishments cut a J-type opening in the 
turkey carcass, which is a large abdominal opening in the turkey that 
facilitates the removal of the viscera. These establishments use a 
metal or plastic device that is inserted into the cavity of the carcass 
to hold the hocks. Other establishments leave a section of skin intact 
between the vent and body opening to secure the hocks. This type of 
opening is called a Bar-type cut opening.
    When the final NTI System regulations were published in 1985 (50 FR 
37508), because of the shackles that were used, Bar-type cut turkeys 
presented for inspection on a three-point suspension required an extra 
inspection hand motion to raise the bar-cut skin flap to observe the 
under side of the bar-cut skin flap and the kidney area. This extra 
hand motion is not necessary to inspect J-type cut turkeys. Therefore, 
the regulations require a slower line speed for Bar-type cut operations 
than for J-type cut operations. The preamble to the final NTI system 
regulations explains that the maximum inspection rates in these 
regulations were established by work measurement calculations and were 
based on the amount of time necessary for an inspector to properly 
perform the correct inspection procedure (50 FR 37511).
    The NTI System regulations provide that the line speeds are for 
lines using standard 9-inch shackles on 12-inch centers with birds hung 
on every shackle and opened with J- or Bar-type openings cuts. The 
regulations also state that maximum rates for those establishments 
having varying configurations will be established by the Administrator 
but will not exceed those in the table in 9 CFR 381.68(c). Therefore, 
the regulations prohibit an establishment processing carcasses with 
Bar-type cuts from using the J-type cut line speeds (9 CFR 381.68(a)).
    As is explained in the preamble to the final NTI System 
regulations, the maximum line speeds in the NTI System regulations will 
be achieved only when all plant conditions are optimal (50 FR 37510). 
The regulations state that the inspector in charge may reduce 
inspection line rates when, in his or her judgment, the prescribed 
inspection procedure cannot be adequately performed within the time

[[Page 53583]]

available because the health conditions of a particular flock dictate a 
need for a more extended inspection (9 CFR 381.68(c)).

Development of Modified Shackle

    In 1988, a turkey slaughter establishment developed a turkey 
shackle that positioned the three-point hung turkey carcasses on a 
shackle with a 4 inch by 4 inch selector (or kickout), a 45 degree bend 
of the lower 2 inches, an extended central loop portion of the shackle 
that lowered the abdominal cavity opening of the carcasses to an angle 
of 30 degrees from the vertical in direct alignment with the 
inspector's view, and a width of 10.5 inches. This shackle allows light 
to illuminate the total inside surfaces of the carcass and allows FSIS 
inspectors to view and properly inspect the inside surfaces of the 
carcass with minimal manipulation. Thus, with the modified shackles, 
the Bar-type cut inspection hand motions are similar to the J-type cut 
inspection hand motions.
    After the turkey slaughter establishment installed the modified 
shackles, FSIS conducted a study on the effectiveness of these 
shackles. From April 12 to 14, 1988, on a two-inspector NTI Bar-type 
cut line, FSIS observed 2,000 light turkeys moving at 45 birds per 
minute and 3,000 heavy turkeys moving at 35 birds per minute. FSIS 
observed line speeds for these turkey carcasses on the modified 
shackles at the regulatory maximum line speeds for Bar-type cut 
turkeys. On a two-inspector NTI Bar-type cut line, FSIS also observed 
2,000 light turkeys moving at 51 birds per minute and 3,000 heavy 
turkeys moving at 41 birds per minute. FSIS observed line speeds for 
Bar-type cut turkeys on the modified shackles at the regulatory maximum 
J-type cut line speeds.
    Three FSIS public health veterinarians observed every third bird to 
get a representative sample from each of the two inspector lines. The 
FSIS public health veterinarians observed the whole birds to determine 
whether any obvious or borderline condemnable birds passed inspection. 
Other data FSIS collected included (1) the number of birds slaughtered 
on the three days that FSIS conducted this study, (2) the total numbers 
of light and heavy turkeys reprocessed on April 13 and 14 from lines 
moving at the regulatory maximum speed for Bar-type cut turkeys and 
lines moving at the regulatory maximum speed for J-type cut turkeys, 
(3) the presentation records from the week prior to the study and the 
days the study was conducted, and (4) the prechill and postchill 
Finished Product Standards (FPS) records for the week prior to testing 
and the days testing was performed. The FPS for turkeys are not 
included in the Federal poultry products inspection regulations.
    FSIS evaluated the presentation records, prechill FPS data, and 
postchill FPS data from this study and concluded that the data showed 
no differences in processed turkeys attributable to the line speed 
changes during the period of the study or between the test period and 
the previous week. FSIS concluded that, in a Bar-type cut operation 
using the modified shackle and regulatory maximum J-type cut line 
speeds, establishment employees and FSIS inspectors are able to perform 
as well as they did when using the slower, regulatory maximum Bar-type 
cut line speeds. FSIS also concluded that, because the modified shackle 
allowed for modification of the inspection hand motions, use of the 
modified shackle also decreases the inspector's work load for the Bar-
type cut inspection procedure.
    Under 9 CFR 381.3(b), for limited periods, the Administrator may 
waive provisions of the regulations to permit experimentation so that 
new procedures, equipment, and processing techniques may be tested to 
facilitate definite improvements. Therefore, under this regulation, on 
July 21, 1989, the Administrator waived the NTI System regulations for 
the first establishment that installed the modified shackles, so that 
the Bar-type cut establishment could run at the maximum line speeds for 
J-type cut turkeys. That establishment is no longer using the modified 
shackle.
    Two other turkey slaughter establishments that have Bar-type cut 
operations have also installed the modified shackles described above. 
Under 9 CFR 381.3(b), FSIS has allowed both of these establishments to 
run at the maximum line speeds for J-type cut turkeys. FSIS authorized 
one to begin operating at the faster line speeds on June 15, 2001, and 
the other on March 17, 2004. FSIS reviewed in-plant trial data from 
these establishments, including: Disposition accuracy, contamination 
rate, microbiological characteristics, and other product 
characteristics. The data show no statistical difference between 
turkeys processed using the modified Bar-type cut shackle running at 
the faster J-type cut line speeds and turkeys processed at the same 
establishment using the original Bar-type cut shackle (non-modified) 
running at the slower Bar-type cut line speeds.
    On February 19, 2004, ConAgra Foods, the parent company of the 
establishments that process Bar-type cut turkey carcasses with modified 
shackles, using the faster line speeds for J-type cuts, submitted a 
petition to FSIS requesting that the Agency revise its regulations to 
allow turkey establishments that use Bar-type cuts and modified 
shackles to operate under the inspection rates (line speeds) 
established for J-type cuts. The petition stated that this revision to 
the regulations would not affect product quality or safety. The 
petition also stated that this revision to the regulations would 
promote fair regulatory competition in the marketplace by allowing 
establishments operating under the faster line speeds to better manage 
their assets.

Proposed Changes

    Based on the in-plant trial data discussed above, FSIS agrees with 
ConAgra Foods that the change the company requested would not affect 
product quality or safety. As is discussed under the ``Executive Order 
12866'' heading below, this rule will likely result in benefits to 
establishments and to FSIS. The Agency has tentatively concluded that 
this rule would facilitate post-mortem inspection of turkey carcasses. 
Therefore, consistent with the petitioner's request, FSIS is proposing 
to amend the NTI System regulations to provide that turkey slaughter 
establishments that open turkey carcasses with Bar-type cuts may 
operate at the maximum line speeds established for J-type cuts, if the 
establishment uses a shackle with a 4 inch by 4 inch selector (or 
kickout), a 45 degree bend of the lower 2 inches, an extended central 
loop portion of the shackle that lowers the abdominal cavity opening of 
the carcasses to an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical in direct 
alignment with the inspector's view, and a width of 10.5 inches.
    As is discussed above, FSIS has already allowed establishments that 
use the modified shackle for turkey carcasses with Bar-type cut 
openings to operate at J-type cut line speeds under 9 CFR 381.3(b). 
However, FSIS may exempt establishments from regulatory requirements 
for a limited period of time only. For the two Bar-type cut turkey 
establishments that use the modified shackle and run at the maximum J-
type cut line speeds to be able to run at these line speeds on a 
permanent basis, it is necessary that FSIS amend the regulations.
    In addition, it is necessary that FSIS amend the regulations to 
allow all turkey slaughter establishments that may use Bar-type cut 
openings to run at the maximum J-type cut line speeds,

[[Page 53584]]

provided that such establishments use the correct shackles, and 
provided that the health conditions of the flock or other factors do 
not cause the inspector in charge to reduce the line speed.
    Under this proposed rule, as under current regulations, the 
inspector in charge could reduce line speeds when, in his or her 
judgment, the prescribed inspection procedure cannot be adequately 
performed within the time available because of the health conditions of 
a particular flock. In addition, this proposed rule makes clear that 
the inspector in charge could reduce line speeds when the prescribed 
inspection procedure cannot be adequately performed within the time 
available because of factors other than the health conditions of the 
flock. FSIS is proposing to amend the regulations to state that factors 
that could cause the inspector in charge to reduce line speeds could 
include the manner in which birds are being presented to the inspector 
for inspection and the level of contamination among the birds on the 
line.
    This proposed change clarifies that the inspector has discretion to 
slow the line for reasons other than the health conditions of the 
flock, if the reasons are consistent with other poultry inspection 
regulations. The regulations concerning the young chicken and squab 
slaughter inspection rate maximums under traditional inspection 
procedure provide that the inspector in charge may reduce production 
line rates when the prescribed inspection procedure cannot be 
adequately performed within the time available, either because the 
birds are not presented in a manner that makes the carcasses readily 
accessible for inspection, or because the health conditions of a 
particular flock dictate a need for a more extended inspection 
procedure (9 CFR 381.67). Similarly, the Streamlined Inspection System 
(SIS) regulations provide that the inspector in charge determines the 
line speed based on a variety of conditions, including the health of 
each flock and the manner in which birds are being presented to the 
inspector for inspection (9 CFR 381.76(b)(1)(ii)).

Executive Order 12866

    This action has been reviewed for compliance with Executive Order 
(EO) 12866. This rule has been designated ``non-significant'' and 
therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

Need for the Rule

    This rule is necessary to provide more production options for 
turkey slaughter establishments. When the New Turkey Inspection system 
regulations were published in 1985, because of the shackles that were 
used, Bar-type cut turkeys presented for inspection on a three-point 
suspension required an extra inspection hand motion to raise the bar-
cut skin flap to observe the under side of the bar-cut skin flap and 
the kidney area. This extra hand motion is not necessary for inspection 
of J-type cuts. Therefore, the regulations require a slower line speed 
for Bar-type cut operations than for J-type cut operations. With the 
modified shackle described in the proposed rule, Bar-type cut 
inspection hand motions are similar to the J-type cut inspection hand 
motions. Based on in-plant trial data, establishments that use the 
modified shackle to process Bar-type cut turkeys can operate under 
inspection using the J-type cut line speeds as effectively as they 
could operate under the Bar-type cut line speeds.
    This rule is also necessary to make clear that the inspector in 
charge could reduce line speeds when, in his or her judgment, the 
prescribed procedure cannot be adequately performed within the time 
available because of factors in addition to the health conditions of a 
particular flock. Other factors that could cause the inspector in 
charge to reduce line speeds include the manner in which birds are 
being presented to the inspector for inspection and the level of 
contamination among the birds on the line.

Industry Overview

    According to FSIS' Animal Disposition Reporting System (ADRS), the 
U.S. turkey industry consists of approximately 80 slaughter and 
processing establishments, of which 25 are considered very small, 30 
are considered small, and 25 are considered large.\1\ The total 
industry employs between 20,000 and 25,000 people in the United States, 
with thousands more employed in related industries, such as contract 
growing, product distribution, equipment manufacturing, and many other 
affiliated services.\2\
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    \1\ In the preamble to the final rule entitled, ``Pathogen 
Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) 
Systems,'' establishments that employ between 1-9 persons and have 
less than $2.5 million in annual sales are considered very small; 
those that employ 10 to 499 persons are considered small; and those 
that employ 500 or more persons are considered large.
    \2\ National Turkey Federation Web site (http://www.eatturkey.com/index.html
). Turkey Facts and Trivia.

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    Turkey companies are vertically integrated, meaning that they 
control or contract for all phases of production and processing--from 
breeding through delivery to retail. In a vertically integrated 
framework of turkey contracting, establishments (integrators) accept 
much of the risk of turkey growing in exchange for greater control over 
both the quality and quantity of birds. Usually, the contract calls for 
establishments to provide growers with chicks or poult hatchlings and 
feed from their own hatcheries and feed mills, veterinary services, 
medication, and field supervisors to monitor operations. The contract 
growers provide housing, equipment, labor, water, and all or most of 
the fuel and litter. Growers raise the birds until ready for shipment 
to the establishments. In their contractual arrangements with growers, 
establishments usually agree to pay a pre-established fee per pound for 
live turkeys plus a bonus or penalty for performance relative to other 
growers.\3\
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    \3\ USDA Structural Change in U.S. Chicken and Turkey Slaughter, 
Michael Ollinger, James MacDonald, Milton Madison, September 2000, 
pp. 11-12 (ERS Agricultural Economic Report Number 787).
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    In 2003, the number of turkeys raised in the United States was 274 
million heads, weighing an average of 27.5 pounds. In 2003, the number 
of pounds of turkey produced was 7.5 billion pounds. At a rate of 36 
cents per pound, the value of production equaled $2.7 billion. The top 
10 turkey processing states in 2003 were Minnesota (1.2 billion 
pounds), North Carolina (1.1 billion pounds), Missouri (816 million 
pounds), South Carolina (494 million pounds), Virginia (492 million 
pounds), Arkansas (477 million pounds), California (418 million 
pounds), Indiana (396 million pounds), Iowa (267 million pounds), and 
Pennsylvania (215 million pounds).\4\ The 25 large producers accounted 
for 91 percent, or 6.8 billion pounds, of the 7.5 billion pounds of 
turkey produced in 2003.
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    \4\ USDA Poultry Slaughter 2003 Annual Summary, March 2004.
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    U.S. consumption of turkey and turkey products are estimated to be 
at 17 pounds per person for 2004. The most popular turkey product 
continues to be the whole turkey, comprising 25 percent of all turkey 
sales in 2003.
    U.S. exports of turkey products in 2003 were 480 million pounds, 
comprising 9 percent of total turkey production. In 2003, the top four 
export markets for U.S. turkey products were Mexico (241 million 
pounds), Hong Kong (45 million pounds), Taiwan (30 million pounds) and 
Russia (25 million pounds).\5\
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    \5\ National Turkey Federation Statistics.
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    Traditionally, turkey plants have faced highly seasonal demand, 
with most production occurring in the last quarter of the year to 
accommodate the

[[Page 53585]]

increased consumption of turkeys around Christmas and Thanksgiving. 
Because of a shift in consumers' taste for turkey and turkey products, 
consumers are consuming more turkey products such as turkey sausages, 
ground turkey, luncheon meat, tray packs; pre-cooked turkey products 
such as deli breasts, turkey ham, and turkey bacon; and other further 
processed turkey products on a year-round basis. More consumers are 
consuming turkey on a year-round basis because of health concerns and 
turkey's nutritional value that addresses those concerns.\6\ This trend 
in consumption reduces the excess capacity that plants were 
experiencing during much of the year to a more balanced production 
cycle year round. By supplying turkey and turkey products year round, 
turkey plants were able to stabilize production rates. Stabilized 
production rates lower production costs because plants are able to 
avoid hiring, training, laying off employees, and starting up and 
shutting down of facilities on a seasonal basis.
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    \6\ Consumers are recognizing the health benefits of turkey as a 
low-fat, high-protein source. National Turkey Federation Web site.
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Estimated Benefits

    Establishments that process Bar-type cut turkeys and install the 
modified shackles will likely realize benefits because these 
establishments will be able to process more turkeys by using the J-type 
cut line speeds than they can process by using the Bar-type cut line 
speeds. According to ConAgra Foods, the company that petitioned FSIS to 
amend the NTI System regulations, by using the J-type cut line speeds, 
a turkey plant processing Bar-type cut turkeys can increase its 
production capacity by 13 percent. Also according to ConAgra Foods, 
under typical pricing and operation parameters, this increase will 
result in increased revenue of $600,000 to $3,000,000 annually per 
establishment. FSIS requests comments on typical pricing and operation 
parameters for turkey slaughter establishments. An increase in capacity 
to process turkeys will allow establishments to receive a greater 
return on their fixed assets. Consumers may realize benefits as a 
result of this rule if establishments using the modified shackle pass 
some of their cost savings along to consumers in the form of reduced 
prices.
    If all 80 turkey slaughter establishments (based on the 2003 ADRS 
data) install the modified shackles, annual undiscounted benefits could 
range from $48 million to $240 million. However, it is not realistic to 
assume that all 80 turkey slaughter establishments would install 
modified shackles.
    The use of the modified shackles for Bar-type cut turkeys, compared 
to the traditional shackles for these turkeys, changes the presentation 
of the turkey, so that the inspector need not manipulate the bar skin 
strip to observe the underside of that flap and the kidney area. 
Therefore, FSIS may realize benefits because the inspectors would not 
be required to perform this extra hand motion. The elimination of this 
extra hand motion may reduce undue fatigue among turkey inspectors. 
Also, the elimination of the extra hand motion decreases the inspection 
work load at the Bar-type cut establishments.
    Based on in-plant trial data from Bar-type cut turkey slaughter 
establishments that ran at the J-type cut maximum line speeds and that 
used the modified shackle described in this proposed rule, this rule 
would not affect production quality or safety.

Estimated Costs

    The costs of this rule would be the costs establishments would 
incur for purchasing and installing the modified shackles. 
Establishments would not likely incur these costs unless they would 
realize benefits. Industry sources estimate that it would cost a 
typical plant $50,000 to install modified shackles on two assembly 
lines.
    If this rule is adopted, in addition to the two turkey slaughter 
establishments that use the modified shackles, other turkey slaughter 
establishments that process whole birds may choose to install modified 
shackles. Even if all 80 turkey slaughter establishments (based on the 
2003 ADRS data) install the modified shackles, the total first-year 
cost to establishments would only be $4.0 million, based on the cost 
estimate of $50,000 per establishment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    FSIS has examined the economic implications of the proposed rule as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C 601-612). If a rule 
has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that the regulatory 
options that would lessen the economic effect of the rule on small 
entities be analyzed. FSIS has determined that the proposed rule would 
not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities 
for the reasons discussed below.
    One of the establishments using the modified shackle is small and 
one is large. Under the proposed rule, turkey slaughter establishments 
would not be required to install modified shackles and are only likely 
to do so should they incur profits through the faster line speed for 
the production of whole turkeys. Based on the ADRS data discussed 
above, there are about 30 small turkey slaughter establishments that 
could potentially install modified shackles. Very small establishments 
are not likely to install modified shackles, because they are seasonal 
turkey processors.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws 
and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    There are no paperwork or recordkeeping requirements associated 
with this proposed rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3520).

Public Notification and Request for Data

    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 proposed rule, FSIS will announce it 
on-line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations_&_policies/2005_Proposed_Rules_Index/index.asp
.

    The Regulations.gov Web site is the central online rulemaking 
portal of the United States Government. It is being offered as a public 
service to increase participation in the Federal Government's 
regulatory activities. FSIS participates in Regulations.gov and will 
accept comments on documents published on the site. The site allows 
visitors to search by keyword or Department or Agency for rulemakings 
that allow for public comment. Each entry provides a quick link to a 
comment form so that visitors can type in their comments and submit 
them to FSIS. The Web site is located at http://www.regulations.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

[[Page 53586]]

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.
    In addition, FSIS offers an e-mail subscription service which 
provides an automatic and customized notification when popular pages 
are updated, including Federal Register publications and related 
documents. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_and_events/email_subscription/
 and allows FSIS customers to sign up 

for subscription options across eight categories. Options range from 
recalls to export information to regulations, directives, and notices. 
Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the 
option to password protect their account.

List of Subjects in 9 CFR Part 381

    Poultry products inspection, Post-Mortem.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, FSIS is proposing to 
amend 9 CFR part 381 as follows:

PART 381--POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.

    2. Section 381.68 would be amended as follows:
    a. Paragraph (a) would be amended by revising the first two 
sentences and by adding a new sentence after the second newly revised 
sentence;
    b. Paragraph (c) would be amended by text after the phrase 
``particular flock'' ; and by revising the table and footnotes.
    The revisions and additions would read as follows:


Sec.  381.68  Maximum inspection rates--New turkey inspection system.

    (a) The maximum inspection rates for one inspector New Turkey 
Inspection (NTI-1 and NTI-1 Modified) and two inspectors New Turkey 
Inspection (NTI-2 and NTI-2 Modified) are listed in the table below. 
The line speeds for NTI-1 and NTI-2 are for lines using standard 9-inch 
shackles on 12-inch centers with birds hung on every shackle and opened 
with J-type or Bar-type opening cuts. The line speeds for NTI-1 
Modified and NTI-2 Modified are for Bar-type cut turkey lines using a 
shackle with a 4-inch by 4-inch selector (or kickout), a 45 degree bend 
of the lower 2 inches, an extended central loop portion of the shackle 
that lowers the abdominal cavity opening of the carcasses to an angle 
of 30 degrees from the vertical in direct alignment with the 
inspector's view, and a width of 10.5 inches. * * *
* * * * *
    (c) * * * or other factors, including the manner in which birds are 
being presented to the inspector for inspection and the level of 
contamination among the birds on the line, * * *

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                                                                                                                   Birds/minute
                                                                                         ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Line       Number of               J-type                         Bar-type
                      Inspection system                       configuration   inspectors ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          (<16)  (>16)  (<16)  (>16)
                                                                                               light         \1\ heavy         light         \1\ heavy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NTI-1.......................................................          12-1             1             32              30              25              21
NTI-2.......................................................      \2\ 24-2             2             51              41              45              35
NTI-1 Modified..............................................          12-1             1  ..............  ..............             32              30
NTI-2 Modified..............................................      \2\ 24-2             2  ..............  ..............             51             41
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This weight refers to the bird at the point of post-mortem inspection without blood or feet.
\2\ The turkeys are suspended on the slaughter line at 12-inch intervals with two inspectors each looking at alternating birds at 24-inch intervals.

* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, on: September 6, 2005.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 05-17887 Filed 9-8-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P