[Federal Register: October 5, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 192)]
[Notices]               
[Page 59575-59576]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr05oc04-25]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. 04-034N]

 
Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs and Salmonella spp. in 
Liquid Egg Products Risk Assessments Technical Meeting

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and availability of draft risk 
assessments.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
that it will hold a public meeting to discuss two draft quantitative 
risk assessments on Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) in shell eggs and 
Salmonella spp. in liquid egg products. The first is a quantitative 
risk assessment of SE in shell eggs. The second is a quantitative risk 
assessment of Salmonella spp. in pasteurized liquid egg products. The 
Agency is also announcing the availability of these draft risk 
assessments and an opportunity to comment on them. The Agency has 
prepared these draft risk assessments to provide scientific information 
on which to base pathogen reduction lethality performance standards 
that the Agency intends to propose for pasteurized shell eggs and 
pasteurized egg products. These performance standards are intended to 
reduce the incidences of foodborne illness associated with eggs and egg 
products.
    At the public meeting, FSIS will discuss the technical design and 
assumptions used to create these draft risk assessments. The draft risk 
assessments will be available in the FSIS docket room (address below) 
and will be posted to 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/regulations_&_policies/2004_Notices_Index/index.asp
 on or before 

October 15, 2004.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 22, 2004. 
The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Submit written 
comments on the draft risk assessments on or before November 15, 2004.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency 
Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, 
20001.
    A tentative agenda is available in the FSIS docket room (address 
below) and 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/regulations_&_policies/2004_Notices_Index/index.asp.
 FSIS invites 

interested persons to submit comments on the two draft risk assessments 
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.
    All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket 
number 04-034N.
    All comments received and the official transcript of the meeting 
will be available for viewing 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://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRDockets.htm
.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Philip Derfler, Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Policy, Program, and Employee Development, 
FSIS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-2709. For technical information, 
contact Carl Schroeder, Ph.D., at (202) 690-6346 or e-mail 
carl.schroeder@fsis.usda.gov. Members of the public will be required to 

pre-register for this meeting. Persons may pre-register by calling 
(202) 690-6516 or e-mailing renee.ellis@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 59576]]

Background

    FSIS administers the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031-
1056). The Agency's current activities are intended to prevent the 
distribution in domestic and foreign commerce, as human food, of 
unwholesome, adulterated, or misbranded pasteurized egg products.
    For the past several years, FSIS and the Food and Drug 
Administration (FDA) have been developing a joint and coordinated 
strategy to more effectively deal with egg safety. Pursuant to this 
coordinated strategy, FDA recently published a proposed rule that would 
require shell egg producers to implement measures to prevent SE from 
contaminating eggs on the farm (69 FR 56823, Sept. 22, 2004). FSIS, in 
turn, is focusing its pathogen reduction efforts on egg products plants 
and egg handling operations that pasteurize shell eggs.
    To better evaluate potential mitigations for reducing the public 
health impact of SE and Salmonella spp., as well as improve the safety 
of pasteurized shell eggs and liquid egg products, FSIS has developed 
two draft quantitative risk assessments on SE in shell eggs and 
Salmonella spp. in liquid egg products. These draft risk assessments 
build upon the 1998 joint FSIS-FDA Salmonella Enteritidis Risk 
Assessment (SERA), which was developed to establish the risk of SE in 
shell eggs and Salmonella spp. in liquid egg products to human health 
and to identify and evaluate potential risk reduction strategies. 
However, the 1998 SERA did not have sufficient data to provide a 
scientific basis for FSIS to develop egg safety standards for egg 
products.
    Since 1998, new data have become available that has allowed FSIS to 
develop risk assessments that are more useful for developing FSIS 
performance standards for SE in pasteurized shell eggs and Salmonella 
spp. in liquid egg products. This new information includes data 
collected from a national baseline survey conducted by FSIS to measure 
Salmonella levels in liquid egg products and data collected by the 
University of Nebraska on the lethality kinetics of Salmonella spp. in 
a wide variety of liquid egg products. These draft risk assessments 
provide important data that the Agency intends to use in deciding what 
pathogen reduction lethality standards to propose for the processing of 
pasteurized shell eggs and pasteurized egg products.
    FSIS requests comment on these draft risk assessments and will hold 
a public meeting to discuss and seek input on them on October 22, 2004, 
at (see ADDRESSES above). The draft risk assessments will be made 
available for review on October 15, 2004, when they will be posted on 
the FSIS Web site.

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://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=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: September 29, 2004.
Barbara J. Masters,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 04-22302 Filed 10-4-04; 8:45 am]