[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 125 (Monday, June 29, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38841-38843]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [http://www.gpo.gov/]
[FR Doc No: 2020-13913]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food Safety and Inspection Service

[Docket No. FSIS-2020-0012]


Retail Exemptions Adjusted Dollar Limitations

AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing 
the dollar limitations on the amount of meat and meat food products and 
poultry and poultry products that a retail store can sell to hotels, 
restaurants, and similar institutions without disqualifying itself for 
exemption from Federal inspection requirements. Because Siluriformes 
fish have been regulated, along with traditional meat products, under 
the Federal Meat Inspection Act since 2016, FSIS has included 
Siluriformes fish and fish products in its calculations for the retail 
dollar limitation for meat products in this announcement. FSIS requests 
comments on the inclusion of Siluriformes fish and fish products with 
meat products.

DATES: Applicable July 29, 2020. Comments on this notice must be 
received on or before August 28, 2020.

ADDRESSES: FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
Federal Register notice. Comments may be submitted by one of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides 
commenters the ability to type short comments directly into the comment 
field on the web page or to attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the on-line instructions at that 
site for submitting comments.
     Mail, including CD-ROMs, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-
3700.
     Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
    Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must 
include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2020-0012. Comments 
received in response to this docket will be made available for public 
inspection and posted without change, including any personal 
information, to http://www.regulations.gov/.
    Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, 
call (202)720-5627 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and 
Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 
Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 
20250-3700; (202) 720-5627.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) and the 
Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.) provide a 
comprehensive statutory framework to ensure that meat and meat food 
products and poultry and poultry products prepared for commerce are 
wholesome, not adulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. 
Statutory provisions requiring inspection of the processing of meat and 
meat food products and poultry and poultry products do not apply to 
operations of types traditionally and

[[Page 38842]]

usually conducted at retail stores and restaurants in regard to 
products offered for sale to consumers in normal retail quantities (21 
U.S.C. 661(c)(2) and 454(c)(2)). FSIS's regulations (9 CFR 303.1(d) and 
381.10(d)) elaborate on the conditions under which requirements for 
inspection do not apply to retail operations involving the preparation 
of meat and meat food products and the processing of poultry and 
poultry products.

Sales to Hotels, Restaurants, and Similar Institutions

    Under the aforementioned regulations, sales to hotels, restaurants, 
and similar institutions (other than household consumers) disqualify a 
retail store from exemption if the retail product sales exceed either 
of two maximum limits: 25 percent of the dollar value of the total 
retail product sales of the amenable product or the calendar year 
retail dollar limitation set by the FSIS Administrator. The retail 
dollar limitation is adjusted automatically during the first quarter of 
the year if the Consumer Price Index (CPI), published by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics, shows an increase or decrease of more than $500 in 
the price of the same volume of product for the previous year. FSIS 
publishes a notice of the adjusted retail dollar limitations in the 
Federal Register. (See 9 CFR 303.1(d)(2)(iii)(b) and 
381.10(d)(2)(iii)(b).)
    The CPI for 2019 reveals an annual average price increase for meat 
and meat food products at 1.30 percent and an annual average price 
decrease for poultry and poultry products at 0.3 percent. When rounded 
to the nearest $100 dollar, the retail dollar limitation for meat and 
meat food products increased by $1,000 and the retail dollar limitation 
for poultry and poultry products decrease by $200. In accordance with 9 
CFR 303.1(d)(2)(iii)(b) and 381.10(d)(2)(iii)(b), because the retail 
dollar limitations for meat and meat food products increased by more 
than $500 and FSIS then included an additional $2,500 \1\ to account 
for Siluriformes fish and fish product retail sales in the 2020 
calculation, FSIS is increasing the dollar limitation on sales to 
hotels, restaurants, and similar institutions to $79,200 for meat and 
meat food products for calendar year 2020.
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    \1\ Please see Adjustment to Account for Siluriformes 
Methodology section for more information about how this amount was 
calculated.
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    Because the decrease in poultry prices is less than $500, FSIS is 
making no adjustment in the dollar limitation for poultry and poultry 
products. The dollar limitation for poultry and poultry products 
remains unchanged at $56,600 for calendar year 2020.

Adjustment to Account for Siluriformes Methodology

    FSIS used the 2012 Economic Census,\2\ the 2017 Economic Census,\3\ 
the 2017 Food Industry Association's (FMI) Supermarket Sales,\4\ the 
2017 National Fisheries Institute's (NFI) consumption data,\5\ and the 
Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI \6\ to estimate the total sales of 
Siluriformes fish and fish products at retail. FSIS then used the 
methodology in the October 3, 1970 ``Revision Pursuant to Wholesome 
Meat Act'' final rule (35 FR 15552), which established the initial 
baseline value used for the meat and poultry retail exemptions, to 
determine the percentage of exempted sales.\7\
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    \2\ 2012 Economic Census of the United States. Table EC1244SSSZ1 
Retail Trade: Subject Series--Estab & Firm Size: Summary Statistics 
by Sales Size of Establishments for the U.S. NAICS 44511 
Supermarkets and other grocery (except convenience) stores.
    \3\ 2017 Economic Census of the United States. Table 
EC1700BASIC. NAICS 44511 Supermarkets and other grocery (except 
convenience) stores.
    \4\ Food Industry Association (2017) Supermarket Sales by 
Department-Percent of Total Supermarket Sales. Accessed on March 6, 
2020: https://www.fmi.org/docs/default-source/research/supermarket-sales-by-department-2018fd94300324aa67249237ff0000c12749.pdf?sfvrsn=2c3e576e_0
    \5\ National Fisheries Institute. (2018, December 13). Top 10 
List Shows Significant Increase in Seafood Consumption. Accessed on 
March 9, 2020: https://www.aboutseafood.com/press_release/top-10-list-shows-significant-increase-in-seafood-consumption/ .
    \6\ Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index. Fish and 
seafood in U.S. city average, all urban consumers, not seasonally 
adjusted (CUUR0000SEFG).
    \7\ In the final rule, the exemption percentage was half the 
percentage of sales.
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    According to the 2017 Economic Census there were $625 billion in 
supermarket sales. The 2017 FMI report noted that 12.64 percent, or $79 
billion, of supermarket sales were for meat, poultry, and fish. FSIS 
assumed a third of these sales, or $26 billion, were for fish products. 
FSIS then used NFI's 2017 Top Ten List to estimate the total sales of 
Siluriformes at retail. NFI's Top Ten List breaks down the pounds per 
capita consumption rate of fish in the U.S.; the sum of the consumption 
of Catfish and Pangasius was 7.75 percent of total fish consumption. 
FSIS assumed that the percentage of the domestic consumption of Catfish 
and Pangasius represented the percentage of Siluriformes retail sales, 
thus Siluriformes sales were estimated to be $26 billion multiplied by 
7.75 percent, or $2 billion. Following the final rule's methodology to 
exempt half of the percentage of Siluriformes sales, in this case 3.88 
percent, the fish retail exemption total is $79 million.
    The 2012 Economic Census has sales revenue ranges for supermarket 
sales. FSIS applied the 2017 Economic Census numbers to the proportions 
in the 2012 Economic Census. FSIS then calculated the midpoint sales 
for each range and multiplied the midpoint by the number of retail 
establishments in each sales category to estimate total sales per 
category. FSIS then used the same calculations above to determine the 
Siluriformes sales per category. Finally, FSIS used the midpoint sales 
amounts to sum the number of retail establishments in each sales 
category until the total Siluriformes fish and fish products revenue 
amount was less than or equal to $79 million. This calculation would 
exempt approximately 33,722 retail establishments. The exemption amount 
per retail establishment would equal $79 million divided by 33,722 
retail establishments, or about $2,376 \8\ per retail establishment. 
This number was inflated to $2,466 \9\ and then rounded to the nearest 
hundred to equal $2,500 per establishment. FSIS requests comments on 
the inclusion of Siluriformes fish and fish products in the retail 
exemption dollar limitation for all meat products.
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    \8\ Calculations may differ due to rounding.
    \9\ Bureau of Labor Statistics: CPI-All Urban Consumers (Current 
Series): CUUR0000SEFG: Not Seasonally Adjusted: Fish and seafood 
U.S. city average: Annual. CPI (2017) = 287.676; CPI (2019) = 
298.493; (298.493-287.676)/287.676=3.8%; $2,376+($2,376*0.038) = 
$2,466.
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Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act at 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that 
this notice is not a ``major rule,'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy 
development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal 
Register notice on-line through its web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.
    FSIS will also announce and provide a link to this Federal Register 
notice 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 our constituents and 
stakeholders. The Constituent Update is

[[Page 38843]]

available on the FSIS web page. Through the FSIS web page, the Agency 
can provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In 
addition, FSIS offers an email 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/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, 
regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete 
subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their 
accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds 
of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual 
orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, 
income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, 
exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to 
discrimination any person in the United States under any program or 
activity conducted by the USDA.

How to File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program 
Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your 
authorized representative.
    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, 
or email: Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of 
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, 
Fax: (202) 690-7442, Email: [email protected].
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact 
USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Paul Kiecker,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2020-13913 Filed 6-26-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P