United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions, 31575-31576 [2011-13501]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 105 / Wednesday, June 1, 2011 / Notices The 2002 Farm Bill provides that the Board’s makeup will include three producers and three peanut industry representatives from States specified in each of the following producing regions: Southeast (Alabama, Georgia, and Florida); Southwest (Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico); and Virginia/Carolina (Virginia and North Carolina). The term ‘‘peanut industry representatives’’ includes, but is not limited to, representatives of shellers, manufacturers, buying points, and marketing associations and marketing cooperatives. The 2002 Farm Bill exempted the appointment of the Board from the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. USDA invites individuals, organizations, and groups affiliated with the categories listed above to nominate individuals for membership on the Board. Nominees sought by this action would fill two positions in the Southeast region; two positions in the Southwest region; and two positions in the Virginia/North Carolina region, one of which is currently vacant. Nominees should complete a Peanut Standards Board Background Information form and submit it to Mrs. Clark at the address provided in the ‘‘Addresses’’ section above. Copies of this form may be obtained at the Internet site http://www.ams.usda.gov/ PeanutStandardsBoard, or from Mrs. Clark. USDA seeks a diverse group of members representing the peanut industry. Equal opportunity practices will be followed in all appointments to the Board in accordance with USDA policies. To ensure that the recommendations of the Board have taken into account the needs of the diverse groups within the peanut industry, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated abilities to represent minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and limited resource agriculture producers. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7958. Dated: May 24, 2011. Rayne Pegg, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2011–13499 Filed 5–31–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:48 May 31, 2011 Jkt 223001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document Number AMS: AMS–FV–08– 0076] United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create new United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions. USDA has received additional industry comments from several discussion drafts. The grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and provide guidance in the effective utilization of frozen onions. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before August 1, 2011. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to: Myron Betts, Processed Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250; or by fax (202) 690–1527; or via Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the date and page of this issue of the Federal Register. Please be advised that the identity of the individual or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.ams.usda.gov/ processedinspection. Any comments received, regarding these proposed standards also will be posted on these sites. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Myron Betts, Processed Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 0709, So. Building; STOP 0247, Washington, DC 20250. Phone (202) 720–5021; Fax: (202) 690–1527. Copies of the proposed U.S. Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions are available on the Internet at http:// www.ams.usda.gov/processedinspection or http://www.regulations.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621–1627), as amended, directs and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture ‘‘to develop and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31575 improve standards of quality, condition, quantity, grade and packaging and recommend and demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and consistency in commercial practices.’’ AMS is committed to carrying out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing of agricultural commodities and makes copies of official standards available upon request. Those United States standards for grades of processed fruits and vegetables no longer appear in the Code of Federal Regulations but are maintained by USDA/AMS/Fruit and Vegetable Programs at http:// www.ams.usda.gov/ processedinspection. AMS is proposing to establish the U.S. Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions using the procedures that appear in part 36, Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 36). Background AMS received a petition from American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), requesting the development of new standards for frozen onions. The petitioners represent almost all of the processors of frozen onions in the United States. The petition provided information on style, sample size, and product description to develop the standards. AMS developed the grade standards for frozen onions to incorporate comments from AFFI members, published notices on the proposed grade standards in order to receive comments from interested parties (see 66 FR 21116, 68 FR 11801, 68 FR 27010) as appropriate and circulated several discussion drafts between April 2007 and June 2010. AMS received and evaluated samples of various styles of frozen onions to collect information on how to ascertain the grade of frozen onions. Comments from the trade association’s members were used to further develop the proposed standards. The comments referenced the style of whole onions and questioned the specific size ranges for whole peeled onions and the total allowance for peel in whole onions. Also the comments suggested that stem material, sprout material, and root material be included as major defects in the ‘‘core material’’ defect category. In addition, AMS met with members of AFFI at their annual meeting in February 2007 to discuss the comments. AFFI suggested that dark green units with dark green stripes across 50 percent or more of the onion units would be considered a defect and under the style of whole onion units greater than 3⁄8 inch (10mm) or less than 3⁄4 E:\FR\FM\01JNN1.SGM 01JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 31576 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 105 / Wednesday, June 1, 2011 / Notices inch (20mm) be addressed. AFFI requested a change in the style designations for minced style, and a correction to the text. The members agreed with the proposed section concerning requirements for Styles, Type I, Whole onions and Type II, Pearl onions. The members did not agree with the proposed descriptions in requirements for whole onions and pearl onions for Styles: Type I, whole onions of 3⁄4 inch to 1–7/8 inches in diameter and Type II, pearl onions of 1⁄4 inch to 7⁄8 inch in diameter. Also, the members did not agree with the proposed section concerning Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs) for quality defects and submitted examples of specifications from buyers. The members expressed concern because defects were defined by weight, not by count. Larger units would be allowed a smaller number of defects and smaller units would be allowed a large number of defects. The members stated that the definitions of ‘‘good appearance’’ and ‘‘reasonably good appearance’’ were too similar. AFFI recommended that the product description include a heat treatment and suggested that AMS consider a requirement that onions be blanched. AFFI members requested that the product description be limited to individually quick frozen onions. There were also concerns that microbiological requirements, storage temperatures, shelf life requirements, and limits for chemical and pesticide residues were not addressed in the proposed frozen onion grade standards. AMS incorporated these comments to make further changes to the proposed grade standards in the discussion draft. However, in June 2010 AMS received additional feedback from AFFI members. These AFFI members indicated that this and other frozen vegetable grade standards did not include requirements for shelf-life, storage temperature, microbiological, or chemical pesticide residue. Nonetheless, commodities covered by U.S. grade standards must comply with all of the regulatory food safety requirements of the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and applicable state and local regulations. The proposed standards for frozen onions would continue to use the standard format for U.S. standards for grades using ‘‘individual attributes.’’ Specifically, the standards would provide for the ‘‘individual attribute’’ procedure for product grading with sample sizes, tolerances, and acceptance numbers of allowable defects with single letter grade designation. Also, the VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:48 May 31, 2011 Jkt 223001 standards would define the term ‘‘frozen onions’’ and establish ‘‘strips,’’ ‘‘diced,’’ ‘‘whole,’’ ‘‘chopped,’’ and ‘‘other’’ as the style designations. The proposal also would define quality factors, AQLs, and tolerances for defects that affect frozen onions and determine sample unit sizes for this commodity. These grade standards would establish the grade levels ‘‘A,’’ ‘‘B,’’ and ‘‘Substandard.’’ The AQLs, tolerances, and acceptance numbers for each quality factor as defined for each grade level would also be established. The grade of a sample unit of frozen onions would be ascertained considering the factors of varietal characteristics, flavor and odor, appearance, color, defects, absence of grit or dirt, and character. These grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and provide guidance in the effective utilization of frozen onions. The official grade of a lot of frozen onions covered by these standards would be determined by the procedures set forth in the Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification of Processed Products Thereof, and Certain Other Processed Foods Products (§ 52.1 to 52.83). AMS is publishing this notice with a sixty-day comment period that will provide a sufficient amount of time for interested persons to comments on the proposed new standards for frozen onions. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. Dated: May 24, 2011. Rayne Pegg, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2011–13501 Filed 5–31–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2011–0035] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Clementines From Spain Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Health Inspection Service’s intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with regulations for the importation of clementines from Spain. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 1, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/ component/main?main=DocketDetail& d=APHIS-2011-0035 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send one copy of your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2011–0035, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS– 2011–0035. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690–2817 before coming. Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on regulations for the importation of clementines from Spain, contact Mr. William Wesela, Staff Officer, Preclearance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 60, Riverdale, MD 20737–1236; (301) 734–5718. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851– 2908. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Importation of Clementines From Spain. OMB Number: 0579–0203. Type of Request: Extension of an approval of an information collection. Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to restrict the importation, entry, or interstate movement of plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction of plant pests, including fruit flies, into the United States or their dissemination within the United States. E:\FR\FM\01JNN1.SGM 01JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 105 (Wednesday, June 1, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31575-31576]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-13501]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

[Document Number AMS: AMS-FV-08-0076]


United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on its proposal to create new 
United States Standards for Grades of Frozen Onions. USDA has received 
additional industry comments from several discussion drafts. The grade 
standards would provide a common language for trade, a means of 
measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and provide guidance 
in the effective utilization of frozen onions.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before August 1, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to: Myron Betts, Processed 
Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20250; or by fax (202) 690-1527; or via Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the date and page 
of this issue of the Federal Register.
    Please be advised that the identity of the individual or entities 
submitting the comments will be made public on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.ams.usda.gov/processedinspection. Any 
comments received, regarding these proposed standards also will be 
posted on these sites.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Myron Betts, Processed 
Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, Agricultural Marketing 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., 
Room 0709, So. Building; STOP 0247, Washington, DC 20250. Phone (202) 
720-5021; Fax: (202) 690-1527. Copies of the proposed U.S. Standards 
for Grades of Frozen Onions are available on the Internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/processedinspection or http://www.regulations.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing 
Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627), as amended, directs and authorizes 
the Secretary of Agriculture ``to develop and improve standards of 
quality, condition, quantity, grade and packaging and recommend and 
demonstrate such standards in order to encourage uniformity and 
consistency in commercial practices.''
    AMS is committed to carrying out this authority in a manner that 
facilitates the marketing of agricultural commodities and makes copies 
of official standards available upon request. Those United States 
standards for grades of processed fruits and vegetables no longer 
appear in the Code of Federal Regulations but are maintained by USDA/
AMS/Fruit and Vegetable Programs at http://www.ams.usda.gov/processedinspection.
    AMS is proposing to establish the U.S. Standards for Grades of 
Frozen Onions using the procedures that appear in part 36, Title 7 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 36).

Background

    AMS received a petition from American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), 
requesting the development of new standards for frozen onions. The 
petitioners represent almost all of the processors of frozen onions in 
the United States. The petition provided information on style, sample 
size, and product description to develop the standards.
    AMS developed the grade standards for frozen onions to incorporate 
comments from AFFI members, published notices on the proposed grade 
standards in order to receive comments from interested parties (see 66 
FR 21116, 68 FR 11801, 68 FR 27010) as appropriate and circulated 
several discussion drafts between April 2007 and June 2010. AMS 
received and evaluated samples of various styles of frozen onions to 
collect information on how to ascertain the grade of frozen onions. 
Comments from the trade association's members were used to further 
develop the proposed standards. The comments referenced the style of 
whole onions and questioned the specific size ranges for whole peeled 
onions and the total allowance for peel in whole onions. Also the 
comments suggested that stem material, sprout material, and root 
material be included as major defects in the ``core material'' defect 
category.
    In addition, AMS met with members of AFFI at their annual meeting 
in February 2007 to discuss the comments. AFFI suggested that dark 
green units with dark green stripes across 50 percent or more of the 
onion units would be considered a defect and under the style of whole 
onion units greater than \3/8\ inch (10mm) or less than \3/4\

[[Page 31576]]

inch (20mm) be addressed. AFFI requested a change in the style 
designations for minced style, and a correction to the text. The 
members agreed with the proposed section concerning requirements for 
Styles, Type I, Whole onions and Type II, Pearl onions. The members did 
not agree with the proposed descriptions in requirements for whole 
onions and pearl onions for Styles: Type I, whole onions of \3/4\ inch 
to 1-7/8 inches in diameter and Type II, pearl onions of \1/4\ inch to 
\7/8\ inch in diameter. Also, the members did not agree with the 
proposed section concerning Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs) for 
quality defects and submitted examples of specifications from buyers. 
The members expressed concern because defects were defined by weight, 
not by count. Larger units would be allowed a smaller number of defects 
and smaller units would be allowed a large number of defects. The 
members stated that the definitions of ``good appearance'' and 
``reasonably good appearance'' were too similar.
    AFFI recommended that the product description include a heat 
treatment and suggested that AMS consider a requirement that onions be 
blanched.
    AFFI members requested that the product description be limited to 
individually quick frozen onions. There were also concerns that 
microbiological requirements, storage temperatures, shelf life 
requirements, and limits for chemical and pesticide residues were not 
addressed in the proposed frozen onion grade standards.
    AMS incorporated these comments to make further changes to the 
proposed grade standards in the discussion draft. However, in June 2010 
AMS received additional feedback from AFFI members. These AFFI members 
indicated that this and other frozen vegetable grade standards did not 
include requirements for shelf-life, storage temperature, 
microbiological, or chemical pesticide residue.
    Nonetheless, commodities covered by U.S. grade standards must 
comply with all of the regulatory food safety requirements of the Food 
and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and 
applicable state and local regulations.
    The proposed standards for frozen onions would continue to use the 
standard format for U.S. standards for grades using ``individual 
attributes.'' Specifically, the standards would provide for the 
``individual attribute'' procedure for product grading with sample 
sizes, tolerances, and acceptance numbers of allowable defects with 
single letter grade designation. Also, the standards would define the 
term ``frozen onions'' and establish ``strips,'' ``diced,'' ``whole,'' 
``chopped,'' and ``other'' as the style designations. The proposal also 
would define quality factors, AQLs, and tolerances for defects that 
affect frozen onions and determine sample unit sizes for this 
commodity. These grade standards would establish the grade levels 
``A,'' ``B,'' and ``Substandard.'' The AQLs, tolerances, and acceptance 
numbers for each quality factor as defined for each grade level would 
also be established.
    The grade of a sample unit of frozen onions would be ascertained 
considering the factors of varietal characteristics, flavor and odor, 
appearance, color, defects, absence of grit or dirt, and character.
    These grade standards would provide a common language for trade, a 
means of measuring value in the marketing of frozen onions, and provide 
guidance in the effective utilization of frozen onions.
    The official grade of a lot of frozen onions covered by these 
standards would be determined by the procedures set forth in the 
Regulations Governing Inspection and Certification of Processed 
Products Thereof, and Certain Other Processed Foods Products (Sec.  
52.1 to 52.83).
    AMS is publishing this notice with a sixty-day comment period that 
will provide a sufficient amount of time for interested persons to 
comments on the proposed new standards for frozen onions.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621-1627.

    Dated: May 24, 2011.
Rayne Pegg,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-13501 Filed 5-31-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P