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Notice

Notice of Request for a New Information Collection (Laboratory Assessment Requests)

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AGENCY:

Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to collect information from laboratories that test food samples during illness outbreak investigations. This is a new information collection with 22.5 burden hours.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before May 29, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

FSIS invites interested persons to submit comments on this Federal Register notice. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: This website provides commenters the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the web page or to 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, etc.: Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
  • Hand- or courier-delivered submittals: Deliver to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

Instructions: All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number FSIS-2020-0011. 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 comments received, call (202)720-5627 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 720-5627.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Laboratory Assessment Requests.

OMB Number: 0583-NEW.

Type of Request: New information collection.

Abstract: FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary (7 CFR 2.18 and 2.53), as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS is announcing its intention to collect information from laboratories that test food samples during illness outbreak investigations. This is a new information collection with 22.5 burden hours.

As a public health regulatory agency, FSIS investigates reports of foodborne illness, contamination, and adulteration potentially associated with FSIS-regulated products. During these investigations, non-FSIS laboratories may test FSIS regulated product and share the results with FSIS. FSIS OPHS Science Staff (SciS) will review the results and associated documentation shared by the non-FSIS laboratory to determine whether FSIS will accept the results. If the SciS lead investigator determines the non-FSIS laboratory result is acceptable, FSIS may use the result to inform regulatory action (e.g. request a recall or detain product).

As part of the process to determine if the non-FSIS laboratory result is acceptable, the SciS lead investigator collects information from the non-FSIS laboratory and verifies that the non-FSIS laboratory can provide the appropriate Start Printed Page 17530certifications and documentation of accreditation, such as ISO17025, or another third-party accreditation entity covering the methods performed. The SciS lead investigator also verifies that the laboratory has submitted all the necessary information, including evidence of chain of custody, the appropriate laboratory reports with sample identification, final results, and authorization by the responsible official for affirming results. Finally, the SciS investigator collects and verifies laboratory methods and quality assurance records documentation from the accredited, non-FSIS laboratory.

FSIS has made the estimates below based upon an information collection assessment.

Estimate of Burden: FSIS estimates that it will take respondents an average of 7.5 hours each year to comply with the information request associated with this collection.

Respondents: Non-FSIS laboratories.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 3.

Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 22.5 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 720-5627.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the method and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Washington, DC 20253.

Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/​federal-register.

FSIS will also announce and provide a link to this Federal Register publication 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 Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS can provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email 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/​subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/​sites/​default/​files/​docs/​2012/​Complain_​combined_​6_​8_​12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410.

Fax: (202) 690-7442.

Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

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

Start Signature

Paul Kiecker,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2020-06564 Filed 3-27-20; 8:45 am]

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