Skip to Content

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the 'Help' button on the bottom right of each page!

Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Food Canning Establishment Registration, Process Filing, and Recordkeeping for Acidified Foods and Thermally Processed Low-Acid Foods in Hermetically Sealed Containers

This document has a comment period that ends in 21 days. (08/24/2020) Submit a formal comment

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

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

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES:

Submit written comments (including recommendations) on the collection of information by August 24, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be submitted to https://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function. The OMB control number for this information collection is 0910-0037. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Domini Bean, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A-12M, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-796-5733, PRAStaff@fda.hhs.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

Food Canning Establishment Registration, Process Filing, and Recordkeeping for Acidified Foods and Thermally Processed Low-Acid Foods in Hermetically Sealed Containers 21 CFR 108.25 and 108.35, and 21 CFR parts 113 and 114

OMB Control Number 0910-0037—Extension

Section 402 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 342) deems a food to be adulterated, in part, if the food bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance that may render it injurious to health. Section 301(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 331(a)) prohibits the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of adulterated food. Under section 404 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 344), our regulations require registration of food processing establishments, filing of process or other data, and maintenance of processing and production records for acidified foods and thermally processed low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers. These requirements are intended to ensure safe manufacturing, processing, and packing procedures, and to permit us to verify that these procedures are being followed. Improperly processed low-acid foods present life-threatening hazards if contaminated with foodborne microorganisms, especially Clostridium botulinum. The spores of C. botulinum need to be destroyed or inhibited to avoid production of the deadly toxin that causes botulism. This is accomplished with good manufacturing Start Printed Page 44906procedures, which must include the use of adequate heat processes or other means of preservation.

To protect the public health, our regulations require that each firm that manufactures, processes, or packs acidified foods or thermally processed low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers for introduction into interstate commerce register the establishment with us using Form FDA 2541 (§§ 108.25(c)(1) and 108.35(c)(1) (21 CFR 108.25(c)(1) and 108.35(c)(1)). In addition to registering the plant, each firm is required to provide data on the processes used to produce these foods, using Forms FDA 2541d, FDA 2541e, and FDA 2541f for all methods except aseptic processing, or Form FDA 2541g for aseptic processing of low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers (§§ 108.25(c)(2) and 108.35(c)(2)). Plant registration and process filing may be accomplished simultaneously. Process data must be filed prior to packing any new product, and operating processes and procedures must be posted near the processing equipment or made available to the operator (21 CFR 113.87(a)).

Regulations in parts 108, 113, and 114 (21 CFR parts 108, 113, and 114) require firms to maintain records showing adherence to the substantive requirements of the regulations. These records must be made available to FDA on request. Firms also must document corrective actions when process controls and procedures do not fall within specified limits (§§ 113.89, 114.89, and 114.100(c)); to report any instance of potential health-endangering spoilage, process deviation, or contamination with microorganisms where any lot of the food has entered distribution in commerce (§§ 108.25(d) and 108.35(d) and (e)); and to develop and keep on file plans for recalling products that may endanger the public health (§§ 108.25(e) and 108.35(f)). To permit lots to be traced after distribution, acidified foods and thermally processed low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers must be marked with an identifying code (§ 113.60(c)) (thermally processed foods) and § 114.80(b) (acidified foods).

The records of processing information are periodically reviewed during factory inspections by FDA to verify fulfillment of the requirements in parts 113 or 114. Scheduled thermal processes are examined and reviewed to determine their adequacy to protect public health. In the event of a public health emergency, records are used to pinpoint potentially hazardous foods rapidly and thus limit recall activity to affected lots.

As described in our regulations, processors may obtain the paper version of Forms FDA 2541, FDA 2541d, FDA 2541e, FDA 2541f, and FDA 2541g by contacting us at a particular address by visiting https://www.fda.gov/​Food/​GuidanceRegulation/​FoodFacilityRegistration/​AcidifiedLACFRegistration/​ucm2007436.htm. Processors mail completed paper forms to us. However, processors who are subject to § 108.25 and/or § 108.35 have an option to submit Forms FDA 2541, FDA 2541d, FDA 2541e, FDA 2541f, and FDA 2541g electronically.

Although we encourage commercial processors to use the electronic submission system for plant registration and process filing, we will continue to make paper-based forms available. To standardize the burden associated with process filing, regardless of whether the process filing is submitted electronically or using a paper form, we are offering the public the opportunity to use four forms, each of which pertains to a specific type of commercial processing and is available both on the electronic submission system and as a paper-based form. The electronic submission system and paper-based form “mirror” each other to the extent practicable. The four process filing forms are as follows:

  • Form FDA 2541d (Food Process Filing for Low-Acid Retorted Method);
  • Form FDA 2541e (Food Process Filing for Acidified Method);
  • Form FDA 2541f (Food Process Filing for Water Activity/Formulation Control Method); and
  • Form FDA 2541g (Food Process Filing for Low-Acid Aseptic Systems).

At this time, the paper-based versions of the four forms and their instructions are all available for review at https://www.fda.gov/​Food/​GuidanceRegulation/​FoodFacilityRegistration/​AcidifiedLACFRegistration/​ucm2007436.htm.

Description of Respondents: The respondents to this information collection are commercial processors and packers of acidified foods and thermally processed low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers.

In the Federal Register of April 3, 2020 (85 FR 18995), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1

21 CFR section; activityFDA Form No.Number of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentTotal annual responsesAverage burden per response 2Total hours
108.25(c)(1) and 108.35(c)(1); Food canning establishment registration254164516450.17 (10 minutes)110
108.25(c)(2); Food process filing for acidified method2541e726117,9860.33 (20 minutes)2,659
108.35(c)(2); Food process filing for low-acid retorted method2541d336124,0320.33 (20 minutes)1,343
108.35(c)(2); Food process filing for water activity/formulation control method2541f3762220.33 (20 minutes)74
108.35(c)(2); Food process filing for low-acid aseptic systems2541g42229240.75 (45 minutes)693
108.25(d); 108.35(d) and (e); Report of any instance of potential health-endangering spoilage, process deviation, or contamination with microorganisms where any lot of the food has entered distribution in commerceN/A11144
Start Printed Page 44907
Total4,883
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
2 The calculation for 20 minutes uses 0.333 hour.

Based on a review of the information collection since our last request for OMB approval, we have made no adjustments to our burden estimate. We base our estimate of the number of respondents in table 1 on registrations, process filings, and reports received. The hours per response reporting estimates are based on our experience with similar programs and information received from industry. The reporting burden for §§ 108.25(d) and 108.35(d) and (e) is minimal because notification of spoilage, process deviation, or contamination of product in distribution occurs less than once a year. Most firms discover these problems before the product is distributed and, therefore, are not required to report the occurrence. We estimate that we will receive one report annually under §§ 108.25(d) and 108.35(d) and (e). The report is expected to take 4 hours per response, for a total of 4 hours.

Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1

21 CFR partNumber of recordkeepersNumber of records per recordkeeperTotal annual recordsAverage burden per recordkeepingTotal hours
108, 113, and 11410,392110,3922502,598,000
1 here are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

We base our estimate of 10,392 recordkeepers in table 2 on the number of registered firms, excluding firms that were inactive or out of business, yet still registered. We estimate that 10,392 firms will each expend approximately 250 hours per year to fully satisfy the recordkeeping requirements in parts 108, 113 and 114, for a total of 2,598,000 hours.

Finally, our regulations require that processors mark thermally processed low-acid foods in hermetically sealed containers (§ 113.60(c)) and acidified foods (§ 114.80(b)) with an identifying code to permit lots to be traced after distribution. No burden has been estimated for the third-party disclosure requirements in §§ 113.60(c) and 114.80(b) because the coding process is done as a usual and customary part of normal business activities. Coding is a business practice in foods for liability purposes, inventory control, and process control in the event of a problem. Under 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2), the time, effort, and financial resources necessary to comply with a collection of information are excluded from the burden estimate if the reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure activities needed to comply are usual and customary because they would occur in the normal course of activities.

Start Signature

Dated: July 20, 2020.

Lauren K. Roth,

Associate Commissioner for Policy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-16037 Filed 7-23-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4164-01-P