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Notice

Notice of Request for a Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Application for Inspection, Accreditation of Laboratories, and Exemptions)

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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, 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 application for inspection, accreditation of laboratories, and exemptions because of revised estimates that support a finding of fewer total burden hours.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before November 19, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

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: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.
  • 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 http://www.regulation.gov 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-2007-0028 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 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Application for Inspection, Accreditation of Laboratories, and Exemptions.

OMB Number: 0583-0082.

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 a revision of an approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements specified in the regulations relating to the application for inspection, accreditation of laboratories, and exemptions.

FSIS requires meat and poultry establishments and import facilities to apply for a grant of inspection before they can receive Federal inspection (9 CFR 304.1 & 381.17). FSIS also requires plants that wish to receive voluntary inspection to apply for inspection (9 CFR 350.5, 351.4, 352.3, & 362.3). Establishments that wish to export or import product must also submit certain documents to the Agency.

The FMIA (21 U.S.C. 642), the PPIA (21 U.S.C. 460(b)), and the EPIA (21 U.S.C. 1040) require certain parties to keep records that fully and correctly disclose all transactions involved in their businesses related to relevant animal carcasses and parts and egg products.

FSIS requires accredited non-Federal analytical laboratories to maintain certain paperwork and records (9 CFR 319.10 & 590.580). The Agency uses this collected information to ensure that meat and poultry establishments and egg products plants provide safe, wholesome, and unadulterated product, and that non-Federal laboratories act in accordance with FSIS regulations.

In addition, FSIS also collects information to ensure that meat and poultry establishments exempted from Agency inspection do not commingle inspected and non-inspected meat and poultry products (9 CFR 303.1(b)(3) & 381.10(a)(1)), and that firms qualifying for a retail store exemption who have violated the provision of that exemption are no longer in violation (9 CFR 303.1(d)(3) & 381.10(d)(3)).

The Agency is revising the information collection based on a revised estimate of the number of respondents, which support a finding of fewer total burden hours (113,048) than there are in the approved information collection (114,583).

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

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of .034 hours per response.

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

Estimated No. of Respondents: 24,622. Start Printed Page 53753

Estimated No. of Annual Responses per Respondent: 136.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 113,048 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, (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 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​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 http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​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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Done at Washington, DC, on: September 17, 2007.

Alfred V. Almanza,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E7-18574 Filed 9-19-07; 8:45 am]

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