[Federal Register: July 3, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 128)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 35112]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03jy01-11]                         

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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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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 301, 303, 317, 318, 319, 320, 325, 331, 381, 417, and 
430

[Docket No. 97-013N2]

 
Performance Standards for the Production of Processed Meat and 
Poultry Products; Reopening of Comment Period

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening and extension of comment period.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is reopening and 
extending until September 10, 2001, the comment period for the proposed 
regulations concerning ready-to-eat and partially heat-treated meat and 
poultry products that closed on June 28, 2001. As of June 28, 2001. As 
of June 28, 2001, FSIS is reopening and extending the comment period in 
response to a request from a consortium of trade associations.

DATES: Comments on the proposed regulations must be received on or 
before September 10, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send all written comments on the proposed regulations to: 
FSIS Docket No. 97-013P, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Room 102, 300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20250-3700. All comments received will be considered part of the public 
record and will be available for viewing in the Docket Room between 
8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel Engeljohn, Ph.D., Director, 
Regulations Development and Analysis Division, Office of Policy, 
Program Development, and Evaluation, Food Safety and Inspection 
Service, Room 112 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 
20250. Telephone number (202) 720-5627, fax number (202) 690-0486.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 27, 2001, FSIS published a 
proposed rule ``Performance Standards for the Production of Processed 
Meat and Poultry Products'' (66 FR 12590). In that document, the Agency 
proposed food safety performance standards applicable to all ready-to-
eat and all partially heat-treated meat and poultry products, as well 
as environmental testing requirements intended to reduce the incidence 
of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE meat and poultry products. FSIS also 
proposed to convert to performance standards the existing regulatory 
requirements for thermally-processed, commercially sterile (most often 
canned) meat and poultry products and to rescind certain requirements 
requiring the elimination of trichina from products that contain pork.
    FSIS originally provided for a 90-day comment period on the 
proposed regulations ending on May 29, 2001. On April 13, 2001 (66 FR 
19102), FSIS extended the comment period an additional 30 days, through 
June 28, 2001, to provide opportunity for the public to comment on 
issues raised at the technical conference and public meetings 
concerning the proposed regulations, which were held May 8 through 10, 
2001. As of June 28, 2001, FSIS is reopening and again extending the 
comment period on the proposed regulations, this time until September 
10, 2001.
    On May 22, 2001, a consortium of trade associations representing 
the meat and poultry industries requested that FSIS extend the comment 
period for 120 days, until October 28, 2001. The consortium noted that 
FSIS has solicited a great deal of scientific and economic data 
regarding the proposed regulations and stated that it needed additional 
time to provide this data. The consortium also requested additional 
time to review the draft compliance guidance for the regulations, 
distributed by FSIS at the May 9 and 10 public meetings, as well as the 
draft risk assessment on the relationship between foodborne L. 
monocytogenes and human health developed by the Food and Drug 
Administration in cooperation with FSIS and the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention.
    FSIS agrees that additional time is necessary for regulated 
industries, consumers, and other interested parties to submit comments, 
collect and submit the solicited data, and review the related draft 
compliance guidance and risk assessment documents. FSIS is reopening 
and extending the comment period until September 10, 2001, which will 
provide additional time for comments to be made, while ensuring that 
the rulemaking proceeds in a timely manner. As a result of this 
reopening and extension, the comment period for the proposed 
regulations will total 195 days.

Thomas J. Billy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 01-16618 Filed 6-27-01; 4:09 pm]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P