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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Voluntary Recalls of Meat and Poultry Products)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 an extension of an approved information collection regarding the voluntary recalls from commerce of meat and poultry products because the approval for this information collection is due to expire.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received on or before December 23, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

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

  • 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.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments.
  • 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 Agriculture Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Start Printed Page 63426Agency name and docket number FSIS-2008-0033. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to http://www.regulations.gov.

Docket: For access to background documents or comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at the address listed above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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FOR ADDITIONAL 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 20250-3700; 202-720-0345.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Voluntary Recalls of Meat and Poultry Products.

OMB Control Number: 0583-0135.

Expiration Date: 3/31/2009.

Type of Request: Extension 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.) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by verifying that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is requesting an extension of an approved information collection addressing paperwork requirements regarding the Agency's voluntary recalls from commerce of meat and poultry products because the approval for this information collection is due to expire. 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 effectiveness 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.

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

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take an average of approximately one hour to collect and submit this information to FSIS.

Respondents: Official establishments, importers of record, and retail consignees.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,060.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,100 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 Ave., SW., Room 3532 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (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 FSIS, at the addresses 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 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/​2008_​Notices_​Index/​.

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 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 available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Listserv and the 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 account.

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Done at Washington, DC, on October 17, 2008.

Alfred V. Almanza,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E8-25397 Filed 10-23-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P