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Notice

Notice of Request for a New Information Collection (Voluntary Recalls of Meat and Poultry Products)

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AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the Food Safety and Inspection Service's (FSIS) intention to request a new information collection regarding the voluntary recalls from commerce of meat and poultry products.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before October 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this information collection request. Comments may be submitted by mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROM's, and hand-or courier-delivered items. Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 102 Cotton Annex, Washington, DC 20250. All submissions received must include the Agency name and docket number 05-019N.

All comments submitted in response to this notice, as well as research and background information used by FSIS in developing this document, will be available for public inspection in the FSIS Docket Room at the address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The comments also will be posted on the Agency's Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​regulations_​&​_​policies/​2005_​Notices_​Index/​index.asp.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Contact John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-0345.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Voluntary Recalls of Meat and Poultry Products.

Type of Request: New information collection.

Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is requesting a new information collection addressing paperwork requirements regarding the Agency's voluntary recalls from commerce of meat and poultry products. Although FSIS is responsible for the inspection of egg products under the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.), the Food and Drug Administration handles the recalls of egg products under a Memorandum of Understanding with FSIS.

A firm that has produced or imported meat or poultry product that is adulterated or misbranded and is being distributed in commerce, may voluntarily recall the product in question. When there is a recall, FSIS asks that the recalling firm provide the Agency with some basic information, including the identity of the recalled product, the reason for the recall, and information about the distributors and retail consignees to whom the product was actually shipped. Under the FMIA, firms are required to keep such records that fully and correctly disclose all transactions in their business (21 U.S.C. 642). Under the PPIA, firms are required to keep such records as are properly necessary for the effective enforcement of the PPIA (21 U.S.C. 460(b)).

When a firm voluntarily recalls a product, FSIS conducts recall Start Printed Page 44325effectiveness checks. In conducting recall effectiveness checks, if the recall is to the retail or consumer level, the Agency contacts the distributors and actual retail consignees to ensure that they were notified of the recall, to verify the amount of product they received, and to confirm that they are removing the product from commerce and returning it to the recalling firm or otherwise disposing of the product. Sometimes, however, while it is possible to confirm that consignees were notified, and that they are removing product from commerce, it is not possible to ascertain how much product the consignee received. Therefore, FSIS is revising its Report of Recall Effectiveness form to provide a space to include, if necessary, along with other information on the form, an explanation of why the amount of product received by a retail consignee cannot be determined.

FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment.

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take an average of .97 hours to collect and submit this information to FSIS.

Respondents: Official establishments, importers, and retail consignees.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,060.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,980 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 300 12th Street, SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20250-3700, (202) 720-5627, (202) 720-0345.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS' functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS' estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and, (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, at the address provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that the public and in particular minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it on-line through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​regulations/​2005_​Notices_​Index/​index.asp.

FSIS also will make copies of this Federal Register publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, recalls, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The update is communicated via Listserv, a free e-mail subscription service consisting of industry, trade, and farm groups, consumer interest groups, allied health professionals, scientific professionals, and other individuals who have requested to be included. The update also is available on the FSIS web page. Through Listserv and the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience.

In addition, FSIS offers an e-mail subscription service which provides an automatic and customized notification when popular pages are updated, including Federal Register publications and related documents. This service is available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​news_​and_​events/​email_​subscription/​ and allows FSIS customers to sign up for subscription options across eight categories. Options range from recalls to export information to regulations, directives and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their account.

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Done at Washington, DC, on: July 28, 2005.

Barbara J. Masters,

Acting Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 05-15212 Filed 8-1-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P