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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Adoption of the Food and Drug Administration Food Code By Local, State, and Tribal Governments

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that the proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES:

Fax written comments on the collection of information by November 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

OMB is still experiencing significant delays in the regular mail, including first class and express mail, and messenger deliveries are not being accepted. To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: Fumie Yokota, Desk Officer for FDA, FAX: 202-395-6974.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Denver Presley, Office of Management Programs (HFA-250), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-827-1472.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In compliance (44 U.S.C. 3507), FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

Adoption of the FDA Food Code By Local, State, and Tribal Governments (OMB Control Number 0910-0448)—Extension

FDA has developed its model Food Code to assist and promote consistent implementation of national food safety regulatory policy among the local, State, and tribal jurisdictions that have primary responsibility for the regulation or oversight of retail level food operations. The FDA Food Code provides a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail segment of the food industry. Authority for providing such assistance is derived from section 311(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 243(a)) and delegation of authority from the Public Health Service to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs relative to food protection is contained in 21 CFR 5.10(a)(2) and (a)(4). Under 31 U.S.C. 1535, FDA provides assistance to other Federal agencies such as the Indian Health Service (IHS).

Nationwide adoption of the model FDA Food Code is an important step towards the agency's goal for consistent, scientifically sound, and risk-based food safety standards and practices. A current, comprehensive and accurate inventory of Food Code adoptions by States and U.S. Territories, local, and tribal governments is necessary to determine the status of up-to-date protection of the U.S. population and to identify areas where assistance to these governments may promote the adoption of regulations based on the FDA Food Code.

This collection effort, which began in 2001, has had remarkable success with 97-percent participation from State and Territorial agencies. FDA contracted with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) to conduct the initial survey using the OMB approved survey form. Contacts were made by telephone and e-mail to determine the Food Code status in their jurisdiction(s). Follow up contacts by telephone and e-mail to minimize the burden on respondents were made to clarify responses.

The rulemaking process that local, State, Territorial, and tribal governments must follow to adopt the Food Code often is a long and complicated process that can extend 2 or more years. For this reason, many agencies reported in the initial survey that they were still in the rulemaking process to adopt or update their food codes for the years 2004, 2005, or beyond. Thus, FDA believes that further implementation of the initial survey is needed to cover this additional rulemaking in order to keep the current database accurate and up-to-date. Based on experience gained in the past 3 years from the initial survey, FDA has developed a more condensed followup survey, to further minimize the burden requirements on respondent agencies. For example, FDA now knows if responding agencies have adopted a new code since 1993, the types of establishments regulated by those codes, the populations of the jurisdiction covered, and the status of local health agencies in the states. This information Start Printed Page 56845will not be collected again. We have reduced the number of questions from 16 to 5. Collection(s) of information will be electronically and/or telephonically obtained thus, providing respondents with data already in the database to further the ease of response and lower the burden.

In the Federal Register of April 17, 2003 (68 FR 18989), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the information collection provisions. No comments were received in response to that notice.

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden1

No. of RespondentsAnnual Frequency per ResponseTotal Annual ResponsesHours per ResponseTotal Hours
Food Code Survey15046001600
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

Experience in the initial survey has more clearly identified the respondents for updating the information in the database. For example, FDA will obtain information from the IHS, relative to the tribal nations' adoption of the Food Code that IHS maintains, using the information categories in the revised followup survey form for which this extension is requested. Seventy-three State and Territorial agencies were identified as respondents for Food Code adoption, and it appears that initially, only 30 local agencies in cities of 500,000 or more will need to be contacted because most local jurisdictions are under State requirements. This further reduces the total burden on respondents. Quarterly updates from respondents under active rulemaking, will be requested by AFDO to keep the database current and accurate. Respondents that have concluded rulemaking will likely need only annual contact. Estimated response time is about 1 hour or less because most reporting will be done telephonically or electronically.

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Dated: September 24, 2003.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 03-24929 Filed 10-1-03; 8:45 am]

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