[Federal Register: January 9, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 6)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 1547]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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.


[[Page 1547]]


Food Safety and Inspection Service

9 CFR Part 381

[Docket No. 99-017E]

Classes of Poultry

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

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


SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is reopening and 
extending the comment period for the proposed rulemaking, ``Classes of 
Poultry.'' The comment period for the proposed rule closed on November 
28, 2003. This action responds to a request from an industry trade 
association to allow additional time to comment on a specific issue 
raised in the preamble to the proposed rule.

DATES: Comments are due February 9, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Send one original and two copies of written comments to FSIS 
Docket No. 99-017P, Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and 
Inspection Service, Room 102, 300 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 

Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff, Office of Policy and Program 
Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 205-0279

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 29, 2003, FSIS published a 
proposed rule, ``Classes of Poultry,'' in the Federal Register (68 FR 
55902). In that document, the Agency proposed to amend the definitions 
and standards for the official U.S. classes of poultry so that they 
more accurately and clearly describe the characteristics of poultry in 
the market today. Poultry classes are defined primarily in terms of the 
age and the sex of the bird. In the preamble to the proposed rule, FSIS 
requested, among other things, comments on whether the Agency should 
establish ready-to-cook carcass weights or maximum weights for certain 
poultry classes.
    An industry trade association submitted a comment stating that this 
issue would require considerable consultation with various segments of 
the chicken industry. The commenter requested additional time to 
discuss the issue with the industry and to try to arrive at a consensus 
of workable market weights for certain chicken classes.
    FSIS has considered the request and believes that the information 
that the commenter is interested in providing will be useful in 
informing the Agency's decision on whether to establish ready-to-cook 
market weights for certain poultry classes, and if so, what those 
weights should be. Therefore, the Agency will reopen and extend the 
comment period for the proposed rule for an additional 30 days. The 
Agency believes that this 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 rule will close on February 9, 2004.

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 and make copies of this Federal Register 
publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update. FSIS 
provides a weekly Constituent Update, which is communicated via 
Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service. In addition, the update 
is available on-line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov.
 The update is used to provide information regarding 

FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS 
public meetings, recalls, and any other types of information that could 
affect or would be of interest to our constituents/stakeholders. The 
constituent Listserv consists of industry, trade, and farm groups, 
consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific 
professionals, and other individuals that have requested to be 
included. Through the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to provide 
information to a much broader, more diverse audience.
    For more information contact the Congressional and Public Affairs 
Office, at (202) 720-9113. To be added to the free e-mail subscription 
service (Listserv) go to the ``Constituent Update'' page on the FSIS 
Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/update/update.htm. Click on the 

``Subscribe to the Constituent Update Listserv'' link, then fill out 
and submit the form.

    Done in Washington, DC on January 5, 2004.
Garry L. McKee,
[FR Doc. 04-402 Filed 1-8-04; 8:45 am]