Food and Drug Administration, HHS.
Notice of availability.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance entitled “Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers Regarding the Final Rule, Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation (Layers with Outdoor Access)” (the draft guidance). The document provides guidance to egg producers on certain provisions contained in FDA's final rule entitled, “Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Storage, and Transportation” concerning the management of production systems that provide laying hens with access to the outdoors. Laying hens are provided outdoor access in some production systems, including certified organic production systems governed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program regulations.
Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comments on the draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by September 23, 2013.
Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the draft guidance to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Plant and Dairy Food Safety/Office of Food Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-315), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, or fax your request to 301-436-2632. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Nancy Bufano, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-316), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1493.
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In the Federal Register of July 9, 2009 (74 FR 33030), FDA issued a final rule requiring shell egg producers to implement measures to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) from contaminating eggs on the farm and from further growth during storage and transportation, and requiring these producers to maintain records concerning their compliance with the final rule and to register with FDA. The final rule became effective September 8, 2009, with a compliance date of July 9, 2010, for producers with 50,000 or more laying hens. For producers with fewer than 50,000, but at least 3,000 laying hens, the compliance date was July 9, 2012. The compliance date for persons who must comply with only the refrigeration requirements was July 9, 2010. The final rule is codified at 21 CFR part 118.
This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent our current thinking on how to interpret the requirements in the final rule with regard to production systems that provide laying hens with access to the outdoors, including questions and answers on coverage; definitions; SE prevention measures; and environmental sampling for SE. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternate approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.
II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
This draft guidance refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in §§ 118.5, 118.6, 118.10, and 118.11 have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0660.Start Printed Page 44484
Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.
IV. Electronic Access
Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA Web site listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.
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Dated: July 8, 2013.
Assistant Commissioner for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-17750 Filed 7-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4160-01-P