[Federal Register: March 14, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 49)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13070-13072]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14mr06-30]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0002]

 
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: 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 March 21-24, 2006. The 
Committee will discuss:
    (1) Determination of Cooking Parameters for Safe Seafood for 
Consumers, (2) Consumer Guidelines for the Safe Cooking of Poultry 
Products, and (3) Assessment of the Food Safety Importance and Public 
Health Significance of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.

DATES: The full Committee will hold an open meeting on Friday, March 
24, 2006, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Subcommittee on Determination of 
Cooking Parameters for Safe Seafood for Consumers will hold open 
meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21-22, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. to 
5 p.m. The Subcommittee on Consumer Guidelines for the Safe Cooking of 
Poultry Products will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, March 22, 
2006, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Subcommittee on Assessment of the 
Food Safety Importance and Public Health Significance of Mycobacterium 
avium

[[Page 13071]]

subspecies paratuberculosis will hold an open meeting on Thursday, 
March 23, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Westin Arlington Gateway, 
801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203; telephone number 703-717-6200. 
All documents related to full Committee meetings will be available for 
public inspection in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 
Docket Room, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102, Cotton Annex Building, 
Washington, DC 20250, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, as soon as they become available. The NACMCF documents will 
also be available on the Internet at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2006_Notices_Index/
.

    FSIS will finalize an agenda on or before the meeting dates and 
post it on the FSIS Internet Web page http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events/
.

    Also, the official transcripts of the March 2006 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/About/NACMCF_Meetings/
.

    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 
FDMS Docket Number FSIS-2006-0002 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.
    Electronic mail: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov. All 
submissions received must include the Agency name and docket number 
FSIS-2006-0002. 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.
    See the disclaimer section below regarding modifications that may 
be necessary due to the presentation of the comments.
    The mailing address for the contact person below, Karen Thomas, is: 
Food Safety and Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture, Office 
of Public Health Science, Aerospace Center, Room 333, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700.

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 at the mailing address above. 
Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special 
accommodations should notify Ms. Thomas by March 6, 2006.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The NACMCF was established in 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/About/NACMCF_Charter/
.

    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. Richard Raymond, Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (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 March 21-24, 2006 the Committee will 
discuss:
     The determination of cooking parameters for safe seafood 
for consumers,
     Consumer guidelines for the safe cooking of poultry 
products, and
     Assessment of the Food Safety Importance and Public Health 
Significance of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.

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 formats on the FSIS Web page, as 
well as in hard copy format in the FSIS 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 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

[[Page 13072]]

the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2006_Notices_Index/
.

    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 electronic mail subscription service for 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 electronic 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 protect their accounts with passwords.

    Done at Washington, DC on: March 8, 2006.
Barbara J. Masters,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 06-2413 Filed 3-13-06; 8:45 am]

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