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Proposed Project: Risk Factors for Microbial Contamination of Produce: A Field Study of Domestic and Imported Produce in Packing Sheds (OMB No. 0920-0487)—Reinstatement—National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Foodborne diseases are common; an estimated 6-33 million cases occur each year in the United States. Although most of these infections cause mild illness, severe infections and serious complications do occur. The public health challenges of foodborne diseases are changing rapidly. In recent years, new and emerging foodborne pathogens have been described and changes in food production have led to new food safety concerns. Foodborne diseases have been associated with many different foods, including recent outbreaks linked to contaminated fresh fruits (e.g., cantaloupe, strawberries) and vegetables (e.g., leaf lettuce, alfalfa sprouts).
NCEH proposes to conduct a study to determine what specific produce processing practices are associated with fecal contamination of fruits and vegetables. Handling and processing methods used in the produce industry may increase the risk that these foods will become contaminated with fecal matter. The study will describe the chain of processing-shipping practices for five vulnerable produce groups (leafy greens, leafy herbs, green onions, cabbage, melon/cantaloupe). Critical practices where contamination with foodborne pathogens is likely will be identified by measuring the microbial quality of produce at each step during processing. Sources of fecal contamination will be determined by measuring the microbial quality of process water, measuring fecal indicator organisms on hand rinses from packing shed laborers, and conducting sanitary surveys of sources of human and animal feces in and around the processing areas.
CDC, National Center for Environmental Health is requesting a three-year clearance. The total burden hours is estimated to be 172.5.
|Respondents||Number of respondents||Number of responses/ respondent||Avg. burden/response (in hours)|
|Packing Facility Recruiting visit||25||1||30/60|
|Packing Shed Manager Interview (in person)||20||6||30/60|
|Hand Rinse Sample Collection||100||6||10/60|
Dated: July 24, 2003.
Laura Y. Martin,
Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 03-19576 Filed 7-31-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-P