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Compliance With and Recommendations for Implementation of the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption for Sprout Operations; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notification of availability.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Compliance with and Recommendations for Implementation of the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption for Sprout Operations.” The draft guidance, when finalized, will help sprout operations subject to FDA's final rule entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption” (the Produce Safety Rule), and primarily focuses on assisting such operations in complying with the sprout-specific requirements in Subpart M (Sprouts) of the Produce Safety Rule. The draft guidance also includes limited discussion on certain other applicable requirements of the Produce Safety Rule. This draft guidance may also be useful to sprout operations that are not subject to the Produce Safety Rule that voluntarily choose to follow the standards established by the rule.

DATES:

Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by July 24, 2017.

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ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments as follows:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.
  • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

Written/Paper Submissions

Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

  • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
  • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2017-D-0175 for “Compliance with and Recommendations for Implementation of the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption for Sprout Operations.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” We will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in our consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/​regulatoryinformation/​dockets/​default.htm.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Produce Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-317), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1600. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Samir Assar, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-317), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740-3835, 240-402-1636.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

We are announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Compliance with and Recommendations for Implementation of the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption for Sprout Operations.” We are issuing the draft guidance consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent our current thinking on this topic. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

The draft guidance for industry is intended to explain our current thinking on how to comply with the requirements for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce under 21 CFR part 112, focusing on subparts impacting sprout operations covered by Subpart M. Topics discussed in the draft guidance include:

  • General Sprout Production;
  • Buildings, Tools, and Equipment;
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing;
  • Agricultural Water in Sprouting Operations;
  • Seeds for Sprouting;
  • Sampling and Testing of Spent Sprout Irrigation Water or Sprouts;
  • Environmental Monitoring; and
  • Recordkeeping.

FDA welcomes comments on any aspect of this draft guidance. We are particularly interested in receiving information about the types of seed or bean treatments that have been used by sprout operations and/or seed suppliers, as well as their feasibility of use, cost, impact on germination; scientific information related to the effectiveness in reducing or eliminating microorganisms of public health significance; and any variability in treatment effectiveness based on seed type.

FDA has developed a risk assessment model to evaluate the public health impact of seed treatment and testing of spent irrigation water in a sprout production system and anticipates making it available in the near future, following peer review.

II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (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 Start Printed Page 7753public 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 publish notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we will publish a 60-day notice on the proposed collection of information in a future issue of the Federal Register.

III. Electronic Access

Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/​FoodGuidances 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: January 12, 2017.

Leslie Kux,

Associate Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2017-01128 Filed 1-19-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4164-01-P