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Notice

National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods; Re-establishment

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AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of re-chartering of Committee.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice is announcing the re-chartering of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) by the Secretary of Agriculture on June 5, 2008. The Committee is being renewed in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The establishment of the Committee was recommended by a 1985 report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Food Protection, Subcommittee on Microbiological Criteria, “An Evaluation of the Role of Microbiological Criteria for Foods.” The current charter for the NACMCF is available for viewing on the NACMCF homepage at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​About_​FSIS/​NACMCF/​index.asp.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karen Thomas-Sharp, Advisory Committee Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Room 333 Aerospace Center, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3700. Telephone number: (202) 690-6620.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

USDA is charged with administration and the enforcement of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA). The Secretary of HHS is charged with the administration and enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). These Acts help protect consumers by assuring that food products are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled and packaged.

In order to assist the Secretaries in carrying out their responsibilities under the FMIA, PPIA, EPIA, and FFDCA, the NACMCF is being re-chartered. The Committee will be charged with advising and providing recommendations to the Secretaries on the development of microbiological criteria by which the safety and wholesomeness of food can be assessed, including criteria for microorganisms that indicate whether foods have been adequately and appropriately processed.

Re-chartering of this Committee is necessary and in the public interest because of the need for external expert advice on the range of scientific and technical issues that must be addressed by the Federal sponsors in meeting their statutory responsibilities. The complexity of the issues to be addressed requires that the Committee meet at least twice per year.

Members will be appointed by the Secretary of USDA after consultation with the Secretary of HHS. Because of their interest in the matters to be addressed by this Committee, advice on membership appointments will be requested from the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of Defense's Veterinary Service Activity, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Background materials are available on the Web at the NACMCF home page noted above or by contacting Karen Thomas-Sharp at the information listed above.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, in an effort to ensure that minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are aware of this notice, FSIS will announce it online through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​regulations/​2008_​Notices_​Index/​. FSIS will also 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 constituents and stakeholders. The Update is communicated via Listserv, a free electronic mail subscription service for industry, trade groups, consumer interest groups, health professionals, and other individuals who have asked to be included. The Update is also available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Listserv and Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader and 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 August 1, 2008.

Alfred V. Almanza,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E8-18137 Filed 8-6-08; 8:45 am]

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