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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food

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Food and Drug Administration, HHS.



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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) 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 (PRA).


Submit written comments (including recommendations) on the collection of information by June 1, 2021.


To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be submitted to​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 0910-0186. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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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,

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

Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food

OMB Control Number 0910-0186—Extension

This information collection supports FDA regulations. Specifically, under sections 201(s) and 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 321(s) and 348), food irradiation is subject to regulation under the food additive premarket approval provisions of the FD&C Act. The regulations providing for uses of irradiation in the production, processing, and handling of food are found in part 179 (21 CFR part 179). To ensure safe use of a radiation source used to treat food, § 179.21(b)(1) (21 CFR 179.21(b)(1)) requires that the label of the radiation sources bear appropriate and accurate information identifying the source of radiation and the maximum (or minimum and maximum) energy of the emitted radiation. Section 179.21(b)(2) requires that the label or accompanying labeling bear adequate directions for installation and use and a statement supplied by us that indicates maximum dose of radiation allowed. Section 179.26(c) (21 CFR 179.26(c)) requires that the label or accompanying labeling of foods treated by a source of radiation bear a logo and a radiation disclosure statement.

Section 179.25(e) (21 CFR 179.25(e)) requires that food processors who treat food with radiation make and retain, for 1 year past the expected shelf life of the products up to a maximum of 3 years, specified records relating to the irradiation process (e.g., the food treated, lot identification, scheduled process, etc.). The records required by § 179.25(e) are used by our inspectors to assess compliance with the regulation that establishes limits within which radiation may be safely used to treat food. We cannot ensure safe use without a method to assess compliance with the dose limits, and there are no practicable methods for analyzing most foods to determine whether they have been treated with ionizing radiation and are within the limitations set forth in part 179. Records inspection is the only way to determine whether firms are complying with the regulations for treatment of foods with ionizing radiation.

Description of Respondents: Respondents to the information collection are businesses engaged in the irradiation of food.

In the Federal Register of October 16, 2020 (85 FR 65825), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. Although three comments were received, none pertained to the information collection topics solicited in the notice or suggested a change to our burden estimate.

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

Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1

21 CFR sectionNumber of recordkeepersNumber of records per recordkeeperTotal annual recordsAverage burden per recordkeepingTotal hours
179.25(e), large processors43001,20011,200
179.25(e), small processors4301201120
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

Based on a review of the information collection since our last request for OMB approval, we have made no adjustments to our burden estimate. Our estimate of the recordkeeping burden under § 179.25(e) is based on our experience regulating the safe use of radiation as a direct food additive. The number of firms who process food using irradiation is extremely limited. We estimate that there are four irradiation plants whose business is devoted primarily (i.e., approximately 100 percent) to irradiation of food and other agricultural products. Four other firms also irradiate small quantities of food. We estimate that this irradiation accounts for no more than 10 percent of the business for each of these firms. Therefore, the average estimated burden is based on four facilities devoting 100 percent of their business to food irradiation, and four facilities devoting 10 percent of their business to food irradiation.

No burden has been estimated for the labeling requirements in §§ 179.21(b)(1), 179.21(b)(2), and 179.26(c) because the disclosures are supplied by FDA. Under 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2), the public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not subject to review by OMB under the PRA.

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Dated: April 20, 2021.

Lauren K. Roth,

Acting Principal Associate Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2021-08949 Filed 4-28-21; 8:45 am]