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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 September 24, 2010. 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.

At this time the charter is being changed to add one individual affiliated with a consumer group to be appointed to the NACMCF as a representative member. This member will provide a consumer viewpoint to Committee work and will not be required to have a scientific background. The balance of the Committee membership will be scientists, and those who are not regular government employees will be appointed as special government employees.

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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 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 is expected to meet one or more times annually.

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 address noted above or by contacting Karen Thomas-Sharp.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's Target Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TTY).

To file a written complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice and TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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/​2010_​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 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_​&​_​Events/​Email_​Subscription/​.Start Printed Page 63434

Options range from recalls, export information, 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 October 12, 2010.

Alfred V. Almanza,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2010-26021 Filed 10-14-10; 8:45 am]

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