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Notice of Request for a Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Marking, Labeling, and Packaging)

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Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to request a revision of an approved information collection concerning the regulatory requirements for marking, labeling, and packaging of meat, poultry, and egg products because of revised estimates, which support a finding of more total burden hours.


Comments on this notice must be received on or before November 9, 2007.


FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this notice. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Mail, including floppy disks or CD-ROMs, and hand- or courier-delivered items: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 2534 South Building, Washington, DC 20250.
  • Electronic mail:
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: This Web site provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this Web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to and in the “Search for Open Regulations” box, select “Food Safety and Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select FDMS Docket Number FSIS-2007-0029 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

All submissions received by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number. All comments submitted in response to this document, 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. Comments will also be posted on the Agency's Web site at​regulations_​&​_​policies/​regulations_​directives_​&​_​notices/​index.asp. Individuals who do not wish FSIS to post their personal contact information—mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number—on the Internet may leave the information off their comments.

For Additional Information:

Contact John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 3532 South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (202) 720-0345.

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Title: Marking, Labeling, and Packaging.

OMB Number: 0583-0092.

Expiration Date of Approval: 12/31/2007.

Type of Request: Revision of an approved 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.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). FSIS protects the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is requesting revision of an approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements specified in the regulations relating to marking, labeling, and packaging of meat, poultry, and egg products.

To control the manufacture of marking devices bearing official marks, FSIS requires official meat and poultry establishments and the manufacturers of such devices to submit an Authorization Certificate to the Agency. Such certification is necessary to help prevent the manufacture and use of counterfeit marks of inspection (9 CFR 312.1 & 381.96).

Meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants must develop labels (9 CFR 317.4, 381.115, & 590.410) in accordance with FSIS regulations. To receive approval for such labels, establishments must complete a form. Respondents also submit, in addition to the form, duplicate sketch copies of the labels. The establishment must maintain a copy of all the labeling used, along with product formulation and processing procedures.

Previously approved labeling that contains changes such as holiday season designs, addition or deletion of coupons, UPC production codes, or recipe suggestions; newly assigned or revised establishment numbers; changes in the arrangement or language of directions for opening containers or serving the product; or the substitution of abbreviations for words or vice versa, do not need additional FSIS approval (9 CFR 317.5). Establishments must keep a copy of the labeling used, along with the product formulation and processing procedures on file.

FSIS requires establishments to keep a written guaranty on file to demonstrate that the packaging material they use to package product is safe and will not adulterate product (9 CFR 312.1 and 381.96).

Poultry establishments producing Mechanically Separated (Kind of Poultry) must have adequate controls in place, including recordkeeping, to ensure that such product complies with the Agency's requirements (9 CFR 381.173).

The Agency is revising the information collection based on revised estimates of the number of establishments and the time necessary to complete forms, which support a finding of more total burden hours (85,508) than there are in the approved information collection (82,348).

FSIS has made the following estimates based upon an information collection assessment: Start Printed Page 51583

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 30 minutes per response.

Respondents: Official meat and poultry establishments, official egg plants, and foreign establishments.

Estimated No. of Respondents: 7,536.

Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 21.7.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 85,508 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from John O'Connell, Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 3532 South Building, Washington, DC 20250, (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 establishments, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may also be sent to 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​regulations/​2007_​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, 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 automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at​news_​and_​events/​email_​subscription/​. 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 accounts.

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Alfred V. Almanza,


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[FR Doc. E7-17735 Filed 9-7-07; 8:45 am]