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Proposed Rule

Descriptive Designation for Needle- or Blade-Tenderized (Mechanically Tenderized) Beef 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:

Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is extending the comment period for the Federal Register proposed rule, “Descriptive Designation for Needle- or blade-tenderized (Mechanically Tenderized) Beef Products” until October 8, 2013. The Agency is taking this action in response to two requests made by trade associations.

DATES:

Comments are due by October 8, 2013.

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 on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.

Mail, including CD-ROMs: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Patriots Plaza 3, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-163B, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2007-0017. 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 to comments received, go to the FSIS Docket Room at Patriots Plaza 3, 355 E Street SW., Room 8-164, Washington, DC 20250-3700 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rachel Edelstein, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development, Telephone: (202) 205-0495, or by Fax: (202) 720-2025.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On June 10, 2013, FSIS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (78 FR 34589), “Descriptive Designation for Needle- or blade-tenderized (Mechanically Tenderized) Beef Products.”

In the rule, FSIS is proposing to require the use of the descriptive designation “mechanically tenderized” on the labels of raw or partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products, including beef products injected with marinade or solution, unless such products are destined to be fully cooked at an official establishment. FSIS is proposing that the product name for such beef products include the descriptive designation “mechanically tenderized” and an accurate description of the beef component. FSIS is also proposing to require that the print for all words in the product name appear in the same style, color, and size and on a single-color contrasting background. In addition, FSIS is proposing to require that labels of raw and partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products destined for household consumers, hotels, restaurants, or similar institutions include validated cooking instructions that inform consumers that these products need to be cooked to a specified minimum internal temperature, and whether they need to be held at that minimum temperature for a specified time before consumption, i.e., dwell time or rest time, to ensure that they are fully cooked.

FSIS is also announcing that it has posted on its Web site guidance for developing validated cooking instructions for mechanically tenderized product.

Two trade associations addressed letters to FSIS requesting an additional 120 days to comment on the proposed rule and the guidance for validated cooking instructions. Both letters stated that additional time was needed to submit comprehensive comments because the Agency had asked for comment on not only the proposed rule and the guidance but also on numerous related issues.

For the reason given in these requests, FSIS agrees to extend the comment period. The Agency believes that an additional 60-day extension is sufficient. The comment period for the proposed rule will now end on October 8, 2013.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (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

FSIS will announce this notice online through the FSIS Web page located at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​wps/​portal/​fsis/​topics/​regulations/​federal-register/​federal-register-notices.

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. In addition, FSIS offers an electronic 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/​wps/​portal/​fsis/​programs-and-services/​email-subscription-service. 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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Start Printed Page 48632

Done at Washington, DC, on: August 2, 2013.

Alfred V. Almanza,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19322 Filed 8-8-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P