[Federal Register: February 13, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 29)]
[Notices]               
[Page 7507-7508]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13fe06-31]                         


[[Page 7507]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2005-0048]

 
Public Meeting on Advances in Post-Harvest Reduction of 
Salmonella in Poultry

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
that it will hold a public meeting on Salmonella Interventions in 
Poultry Slaughter and Processing on February 23 and February 24, 2006, 
in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting will consist of presentations on 
research and practical experiences aimed at reducing the presence of 
Salmonella and other enteric microorganisms in poultry slaughter and 
processing.

DATES: The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 23, 2006, 
from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. e.s.t., and Friday, February 24, 2006, from 
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. e.s.t.

ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at The Loudermilk Center, 40 
Courtland Street, NE., Atlanta, GA 30303. A tentative agenda will be 
available on the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/. The 

official transcript of the meeting, when it becomes available, can be 
accessed in the FSIS Docket Room, Room 102 Cotton Annex Building, 300 
12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20250 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday.
    FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this notice. 
Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to 
type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or 
attach a file for lengthier comments. FSIS prefers to receive comments 
through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov
 and, in the ``Search for Open Regulations'' box, 

select ``Food Safety and Inspection Service'' from the agency drop-down 
menu, then click on ``Submit.'' In the Docket ID column, select the 
Docket Number FSIS-2005-0048 to submit or view public comments and to 
view supporting and related materials available electronically.
    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 Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    Electronic mail: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.
    All submissions received must include the Agency name and Docket 
Number FSIS-2005-0048. All comments submitted in response to this 
notice, as well as research and background information used by FSIS in 
developing this document, will be posted to the regulations.gov Web 
site. The background information and comments also 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. William Shaw at (202) 205-0695. E-
mail: william.shaw@fsis.usda.gov or Dr. Patty Bennett at (202) 205-
0296. E-mail: patricia.bennett@fsis.usda.gov.
    Pre-registration is encouraged for this meeting. To pre-register, 
contact Diane Jones at (202) 720-9692 or by e-mail at 
diane.jones@fsis.usda.gov. Persons requiring a sign language 

interpreter or other special accommodations should also contact Diane 
Jones using the contact information above as soon as possible.
    This public meeting will also be available Live Online via 
NetMeeting. For questions regarding NetMeeting contact Sharon Randle at 
(202)690-6530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The scientific community continues to work 
with establishments to investigate methods to reduce the presence of 
food safety hazards at federally inspected meat and poultry 
establishments through the use of antimicrobial interventions and 
enhanced sanitary dressing practices. A food safety hazard is defined 
in 9 CFR part 417 as any biological, chemical, or physical property 
that may cause a food to be unsafe for human consumption. 
Establishments are required to consider any hazards that could arise 
before, during, or after the slaughter and processing of meat and 
poultry products and develop a plan designed to prevent, eliminate, or 
minimize the likelihood that these hazards will occur. A prudent 
establishment will employ sound technologies, practices, and other 
means to control pathogen hazards at the pre-harvest stage, during 
slaughter, and during processing to minimize contamination of the 
edible tissue.
    Future hazard reduction interventions will likely arise from 
approaches that are being researched or from new approaches that will 
be added to the scientific community's research agenda. It is 
important, therefore, for establishments to be aware of the research 
that is being conducted, so that they can (1) identify their needs, (2) 
highlight matters that are not under investigation, (3) provide input 
on the economic impact of implementing new practices in their 
facilities, and (4) explain the impact of food safety hazards on the 
marketability of their products.
    Salmonella, a group of bacteria that can cause diarrheal illness in 
humans, is the most frequently reported cause of foodborne illness. 
Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as beef, poultry, 
milk, or eggs, but all foods, including vegetables, may become 
contaminated.
    FSIS Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) 
verification testing for all meat and poultry product categories has 
shown a continuous decline in Salmonella positive samples for beef 
product classes. However, since 2002, FSIS has seen an increase in 
Salmonella positive samples for broiler production classes. Agency data 
show that Salmonella percent positive in ``A'' set verification 
sampling for broilers from establishments of all sizes increased from 
11.5% in 2002 to 12.8% in 2003 to 13.5% in 2004. Although the overall 
percentage of positive samples in verification testing is still below 
the national baseline prevalence figures, the continuing upward trend 
in recent years is a source of significant concern.
    Consequently, on August 25 and 26, 2005, FSIS held a public meeting 
on advances in pre-harvest reduction of Salmonella in poultry at the 
Russell Research Center in Athens, Georgia. FSIS is announcing that it 
will hold a second public meeting on Salmonella controls, focusing on 
interventions during broiler slaughter as well as further processing of 
ground chicken and turkey. This meeting will discuss interventions to 
reduce Salmonella on broilers, ground chicken, and ground turkey. The 
meeting will include technical presentations on the opportunities for 
affecting Salmonella levels at each step in the slaughter process, 
emphasizing aspects where biological hazards associated with Salmonella 
are critical and require interventions. There will also be panel 
discussions of the possible approaches that are presented and 
opportunities for the audience to ask questions of presenters and 
panelists. The meeting will conclude with presentations outlining FSIS 
policy initiatives to encourage reduction of Salmonella positive 
regulatory verification samples.

[[Page 7508]]

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 on-line through the FSIS Web page located 
at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2006_Notices_Index/index.asp.

    FSIS will also 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.
    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.

    Done at Washington, DC on February 7, 2006.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. E6-1936 Filed 2-10-06; 8:45 am]

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