[Federal Register: March 12, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 47)]
[Notices]               
[Page 10708-10709]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr12mr09-23]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2009-0009]

 
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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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 16-20, 2009. The 
Committee will discuss: (1) Determination of the most appropriate 
technologies for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to adopt 
in performing routine and baseline microbiological analyses, and (2) 
Parameters for inoculated-pack challenge study protocols.

DATES: The full Committee will hold an open meeting on Friday, March 
20, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Subcommittee on Determination of 
the Most Appropriate Technologies for the FSIS to Adopt in Performing 
Routine and Baseline Microbiological Analyses will hold open meetings 
on Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 
p.m.; and Wednesday, March 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The 
Subcommittee on Parameters for inoculated-pack challenge study 
protocols will hold open meetings on Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, 
March 19, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The March 16-19, 2009, subcommittee meetings will be held at 
the Aerospace Center, 901 D Street, SW., Rooms 369-371, Washington, DC 
20024. The March 20, 2009, full Committee meeting will be held in the 
conference room at the south end of the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) cafeteria located in the South Building, 1400 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. All documents related to the full 
Committee meeting will be available for public inspection in the FSIS 
Docket Room, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 2534 South 
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_&_Policies/2009_Notices_Index/index.asp.
    FSIS will finalize an agenda on or before the meeting dates and 
post it on the FSIS Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News/
Meetings_&_Events/. Please note that the meeting agenda is subject to 
change due to the time required for Committee discussions; thus, 
sessions could start or end earlier or later than anticipated. Please 
plan accordingly if you would like to attend a particular session or 
participate in a public comment period.
    Also, the official transcript of the March 20, 2009, full Committee 
meeting, when it becomes 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/.
    The mailing address for the contact person is: Karen Thomas-Sharp, 
USDA, FSIS, Office of Public Health Science, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., 333 Aerospace Center, Washington, DC 20250-3766.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Persons interested in making a 
presentation, submitting technical papers, or providing comments at the 
March 20, plenary session should contact Karen Thomas-Sharp, phone 
(202) 690-6620, fax (202) 690-6334, e-mail: Karen.thomas-
sharp@fsis.usda.gov or at the mailing address above. Persons requiring 
a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations should 
notify Mrs. Thomas-Sharp by March 9, 2009.

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 scientific advice and recommendations to the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Departments of 
Commerce and Defense.
    Mr. Ronald F. Hicks, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, 
USDA, is the Committee Chair; Dr. Stephen Sundlof, Director of the Food 
and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 
(CFSAN), is the Vice-Chair; and Gerri Ransom, FSIS, is the Executive 
Secretary.
    At the subcommittee meetings the week of March 16-19, 2009, the 
groups will discuss:
     The determination of the most appropriate technologies for 
the FSIS to adopt in performing routine and baseline microbiological 
analyses, and
     Parameters for inoculated-pack challenge study protocols.

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 electronic format on the FSIS Web page (http://
www.fsis.usda.gov), 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

[[Page 10709]]

Committee meeting when sufficient time is allowed in advance to do so.
    Disclaimer: NACMCF documents and comments posted on the FSIS Web 
site are electronic conversions from a variety of source formats. In 
some cases, document conversion may result in character translation or 
formatting errors. The original document is the official, legal copy.
    In order to meet the electronic and information technology 
accessibility standards in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, 
NACMCF may add alternate text descriptors for non-text elements 
(graphs, charts, tables, multimedia, etc.). These modifications only 
affect the online copies of the documents.
    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 
minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this 
notice, FSIS will announce it online through the FSIS Web page located 
at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/2009_Notices_Index/. 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, and other types of information 
that could affect or would be of interest to constituents and 
stakeholders. The Update is communicated via Listserv, a free 
electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade groups, 
consumer interest groups, health professionals, and other individuals 
who have asked to be included. The Update is also available on the FSIS 
Web page. Through the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to provide 
information to a much broader and more diverse audience. In addition, 
FSIS offers an electronic mail subscription service which provides 
automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and 
information. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/
news_and_events/email_subscription/. 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 accounts.

    Done at Washington, DC, on March 6, 2009.
Bryce Quick,
Deputy Administrator, FSIS.
 [FR Doc. E9-5308 Filed 3-11-09; 8:45 am]

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