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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Procedures for the Safe and Sanitary Processing and Importing of Fish and Fishery Products

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection provisions of FDA's regulations requiring reporting and recordkeeping for processors and importers of fish and fishery products.

DATES:

Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by June 8, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Denver Presley, Jr., Office of Information Management, Food and Drug Administration, 1350 Piccard Dr., PI50-400B, Rockville, MD 20850, 301-796-3793.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Procedures for the Safe and Sanitary Processing and Importing of Fish and Fishery Products—21 CFR Part 123 (OMB Control Number 0910-0354)—Extension

FDA regulations in part 123 (21 CFR part 123) mandate the application of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles to the processing of seafood. HACCP is a preventive system of hazard control designed to help ensure the safety of foods. The regulations were issued under FDA's statutory authority to regulate food safety, including section 402(a)(1) and (a)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 342(a)(1) and (a)(4)).

Certain provisions in part 123 require that processors and importers of seafood collect and record information. The HACCP records compiled and maintained by a seafood processor primarily consist of the periodic observations recorded at selected monitoring points during processing and packaging operations, as called for in a processor's HACCP plan (e.g., the values for processing times, temperatures, acidity, etc., as observed at critical control points). The primary purpose of HACCP records is to permit a processor to verify that products have been produced within carefully established processing parameters (critical limits) that ensure that hazards have been avoided.

HACCP records are normally reviewed by appropriately trained employees at the end of a production lot or at the end of a day or week of production to verify that control limits have been maintained, or that appropriate corrective actions were taken if the critical limits were not maintained. Such verification activities are essential to ensure that the HACCP system is working as planned. A review of these records during the conduct of periodic plant inspections also permits FDA to determine whether the products have been consistently processed in conformance with appropriate HACCP food safety controls.

Section 123.12 requires that importers of seafood products take affirmative steps and maintain records that verify that the fish and fishery products they offer for import into the United States were processed in accordance with the HACCP and sanitation provisions set forth in part 123. These records are also to be made available for review by FDA as provided in § 123.12(c).

The time and costs of these recordkeeping activities will vary considerably among processors and importers of fish and fishery products, depending on the type and number of products involved, and on the nature of the equipment or instruments required to monitor critical control points. The burden estimate in table 1 of this document includes only those collections of information under the seafood HACCP regulations that are not already required under other statutes and regulations. The estimate also does not include collections of information that are a usual and customary part of businesses' normal activities. For example, the tagging and labeling of molluscan shellfish (21 CFR 1240.60) is a customary and usual practice among seafood processors. Consequently, the estimates in table 1 account only for information collection and recording requirements attributable to part 123.

Description of Respondents: Respondents to this collection of information include processors and importers of seafood.

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:Start Printed Page 18212

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden1

21 CFR Section2No. of RecordkeepersAnnual Frequency per Recordkeeping3Total Annual RecordsHours Per Record4Total Hours
123.6(a),(b), and (c)5015016.00800
123.6(c)(5)15,000460,0000.3018,000
123.8(a)(1) and (c)15,000115,0004.0060,000
123.12(a)(2)(ii)4,10080328,0000.2065,600
123.6(c)(7)15,0002804,200,0000.301,260,000
123.7(d)6,000424,0000.102,400
123.8(d)15,00047705,0000.1070,500
123.11(c)15,0002804,200,0000.10420,000
123.12(c)4,10080328,0000.1032,800
123.12(a)(2)411414.00164
Total1,930,264
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
2 These estimates include the information collection requirements in the following sections: § 123.16—Smoked Fish—process controls (see § 123.6(b)); § 123.28(a)—Source Controls—molluscan shellfish (see § 123.6(b)); § 123.28(c) and (d)—Records—molluscan shellfish (see § 123.6(c)(7)).
3 Based on an estimated 280 working days per year.
4 Estimated average time per 8-hour work day unless one-time response.

FDA bases this hour burden estimate on its experience with the application of HACCP principles in food processing. Further, the burdens have been estimated using typical small seafood processing firms as a model because these firms represent a significant proportion of the industry. The hour burden of HACCP recordkeeping activities will vary considerably among processors and importers of fish and fishery products, depending on the size of the facility and complexity of the HACCP control scheme (i.e., the number of products and the number of hazards controlled); the daily frequency that control points are monitored and values recorded; and also on the extent that data recording time and cost are minimized by the use of automated data logging technology. The burden estimate does not include burden hours for activities that are a usual and customary part of businesses' normal activities. For example, the tagging and labeling of molluscan shellfish (21 CFR 1240.60) is a customary and usual practice among seafood processors.

Based on its records, FDA estimates that there are 15,000 processors and 4,100 importers.

FDA estimates that 50 processors will undertake the initial preparation of a hazard analysis and HAACP plan (§ 123.6(a),(b), and (c)). FDA estimates the burden for the initial preparation of a hazard analysis and HAACP plan to be 16 hours per processor for a total burden of 800 hours. FDA estimates that all processors (15,000 processors) will undertake and keep records of 4 corrective action plans (§ 123.6(c)(5)) for a total of 60,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.30 hours for a total burden of 18,000 hours.

FDA estimates that all processors (15,000 processors) will annually reassess their hazard analysis and HACCP plan (§ 123.8(a)(1) and (c)). FDA estimates the burden for the reassessment of the hazard analysis and HAACP plan to be 4 hours per processor for a total burden of 60,000 hours.

FDA estimates that all importers (4,100 importers) will take affirmative steps to verify compliance of imports and prepare 80 records of their verification activities (§ 123.12(a)(2)(ii)) for a total of 328,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.20 hours for a total burden of 65,600 hours.

FDA estimates that all processors (15,000 processors) will document the monitoring of critical control points (§ 123.6(c)(7)) at 280 records per processor for a total of 4,200,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.30 hours for a total burden of 1,260,000 hours.

FDA estimates that 40 percent of all processors (6,000 processors) will maintain records of any corrective actions taken due to a deviation from a critical limit (§ 123.7(d)) at 4 records per processor for a total of 24,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.10 hours for a total burden of 2,400 hours.

FDA estimates that all processors (15,000 processors) will maintain records of the calibration of process-monitoring instruments and the performing of any periodic end-product and in-process testing (§ 123.8(d)) at 47 records per processor for a total of 705,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.10 hours for a total burden of 70,500 hours.

FDA estimates that all processors (15,000 processors) will maintain sanitation control records (§ 123.11(c)) at 280 records per processor for a total of 4,200,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation of each record to be 0.10 hours for a total burden of 420,000 hours.

FDA estimates that all importers (4,100 importers) will maintain records that verify that the fish and fishery products they offer for import into the United States were processed in accordance with the HACCP and sanitation provisions set forth in part 123 (§ 123.12(c)). FDA estimates that 80 records will be prepared per importer for a total of 328,000 records. FDA estimates the burden for the preparation Start Printed Page 18213of each record to be 0.10 hours for a total burden of 32,800 hours.

FDA estimates that 1 percent of all importers (41 importers) will require new written verification procedures to verify compliance of imports (§ 123.12(a)(2)). FDA estimates the burden for preparing the new procedures to be 4 hours per importer for a total burden of 164 hours.

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Dated: April 5, 2010.

Leslie Kux,

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2010-8051 Filed 4-8-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4160-01-S