Amendment to the Definition of “Condition” and Prerequisite Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs, 23188-23189 [2016-09139]

Download as PDF 23188 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 76 Wednesday, April 20, 2016 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 56 [Doc. No. AMS–LPS–15–0044] Amendment to the Definition of ‘‘Condition’’ and Prerequisite Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs to clarify the definition of ‘‘condition’’ and revise the prerequisite requirement for shell eggs eligible for voluntary USDA grading and certification. The proposed revision to the prerequisite requirement will prohibit the use of Salmonella Enteritidis-adulterated or recalled shell eggs from being presented to USDA for grading and certification. AMS is proposing to revise the definition of ‘‘condition’’ to remove any food safety implications resulting from the use of the term ‘‘wholesomeness’’ and clarify that AMS’ role in grading and certification of shell eggs is solely for a quality determination. DATES: Comments must be received by June 20, 2016. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments concerning this proposed rule electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. Written comments may also be submitted to Mark Perigen, National Shell Egg Supervisor, Quality Assessment Division (QAD), Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; or by facsimile to (202) 690–2746. All comments should Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:51 Apr 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 reference the docket number (AMS– LPS–15–0044), the date, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Submitted comments will be available for public inspection at http:// www.regulations.gov, or during regular business hours at the above address. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the Internet at the address provided above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bowden, Chief, Standardization Branch, Quality Assessment Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; by facsimile to (202) 690–2746; or via email David.Bowden@ams.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Proposed Changes Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA) (7 U.S.C. 1621–1627) 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.’’ The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to carrying out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing of agricultural products while maintaining the integrity of the USDA grademark. Shell egg grading is a voluntary program provided under the AMA and offered on a fee-for-service basis. It is designed to assist in the orderly marketing of shell eggs by providing the official certification of egg quality, size, condition, and other factors. This proposed amendment is in accordance with recommendations stated in the 2012 Audit Report, USDA Controls Over Shell Egg Inspection, issued by the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG). In that report, OIG stated the regulatory definition of ‘‘condition’’ for shell eggs was confusing as it relates to quality and food safety. OIG also stated the integrity of the USDA grademark for quality was not adequately protected from adulterated shell eggs. AMS is proposing to revise the definition of ‘‘condition’’ to remove any PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 food safety implications resulting from the use of the term ‘‘wholesomeness’’ and clarify that AMS’ role in grading and certification of shell eggs is solely for a quality determination. The revised definition will remove the term ‘‘wholesomeness’’ and state that ‘‘condition’’ is a characteristic detected by sensory examination. The presence of microorganisms, specifically Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) or other pathogens, in the content of an egg cannot be detected during such an examination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, not AMS, maintain jurisdiction for food safety related issues associated with shell eggs. AMS is also proposing to revise the prerequisite requirement of shell eggs eligible for USDA grading and certification. The revision will prohibit the use of SE-adulterated or recalled shell eggs from being presented to USDA for grading and certification. This action protects the integrity of the USDA grademark for quality and is consistent with the current AMS policy implemented subsequent to the referenced 2012 OIG audit. Executive Order 12866, 13175, and 13563 USDA is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13175, and 13563. Regulatory Flexibility Act In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601–602, AMS has performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis regarding economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities. AMS is proposing to amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs, 7 CFR part 56 to revise the definition of the term ‘‘condition’’ to clarify that it relates solely to a quality determination and not food safety. The current regulation definition for ‘‘condition’’ includes the term ‘‘wholesomeness’’ which denotes a food safety connotation. AMS’ role in grading and certification of shell eggs is for a quality determination only. By removing any food safety related terms from the current definition of ‘‘condition,’’ AMS will remove confusion or misunderstanding over use of the term. E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 20, 2016 / Proposed Rules Since this change is a technical correction and editorial in nature, and will not result in a change to the way service is provided to our customers, AMS has determined it will not have a financial impact on small entities that utilize their services. AMS also proposes to revise the prerequisite requirement of shell eggs eligible for USDA grading and certification. The revision will prohibit the use of SE-adulterated shell eggs or recalled shell eggs from being presented to USDA for grading and certification. The FDA prohibits the use of SEadulterated shell eggs from being sold to consumers. When shell eggs are suspected of being adulterated with SE, the packing facility is obligated to test the shell eggs to assure only safe product is distributed to consumers. If shell eggs are found to be adulterated with SE, the FDA will issue a request to the packing facility to voluntarily recall the product, or will exercise its mandatory recall authority to return the product to the origin facility. The product must either be destroyed or reconditioned under FDA supervision. Since SE-adulterated shell eggs or shell eggs that have been recalled are no longer eligible for distribution to consumers, but are either destroyed or reconditioned under the direction of the FDA, changing the AMS regulation will not have an impact on small entities since those shell eggs are deemed unfit for human consumption. Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection and recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule, and there are no new requirements. Should any changes become necessary they would be submitted to OMB for approval. The assigned OMB control number is 0581– 0128, as approved on July 8, 2014. AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which requires government agencies in general to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. E-Government Act AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act of 2002 to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to government VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:51 Apr 19, 2016 Jkt 238001 information and services, and for other purposes. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 56 Agriculture, Eggs and egg products, Food grades and standards, Food labeling, Food packaging, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Voluntary standards. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, it is proposed that 7 CFR part 56 be amended as follows: PART 56—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE VOLUNTARY GRADING OF SHELL EGGS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service 7 CFR Part 273 RIN 0584–AE43 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Standard Utility Allowances Based on the Receipt of Energy Assistance Payments Under the Agricultural Act of 2014 Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: This proposed rule would revise Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations in accordance with amendments made to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) that requires States that elect to use a heating or cooling standard utility allowance (HCSUA) in SNAP eligibility determinations to make the HCSUA available to households that have received a payment under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (LIHEAA) (known as a LowIncome Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payment), or other similar energy assistance program payment, greater than $20 annually in the current month or in the immediately preceding 12 months. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 20, 2016 to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: The USDA Food and Nutrition Service invites interested persons to submit written comments on this proposed rule. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods: • Preferred Method: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Send comments to Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, FNS, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703–305– 2507. All written comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. FNS will make the written comments publicly available on the Internet via http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, SUMMARY: 1. The authority citation for part 56 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq. 2. Amend § 56.1 by revising the definition of Condition to read as follows: ■ § 56.1 Meaning of words and terms defined. * * * * * Condition means any characteristic detected by sensory examination (visual, touch, or odor), including the state of preservation, cleanliness, soundness, or fitness for human food that affects the marketing of the product. * * * * * ■ 3. Amend § 56.40 by revising paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) and adding paragraphs (c)(4) and (5) to read as follows: § 56.40 Grading requirements of shell eggs identified with grademarks. * * * * * (c) * * * (2) Not possess any undesirable odors or flavors; (3) Not have previously been shipped for retail sale; (4) Not originate from a layer house environment determined positive for the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) unless the eggs from the layer house have been sampled and have tested negative for the presence of SE in the eggs; and (5) Not originate from eggs testing positive for SE, or not have been subject to a product recall. * * * * * Dated: April 14, 2016. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2016–09139 Filed 4–19–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 23189 E:\FR\FM\20APP1.SGM 20APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 76 (Wednesday, April 20, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23188-23189]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-09139]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 76 / Wednesday, April 20, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 23188]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 56

[Doc. No. AMS-LPS-15-0044]


Amendment to the Definition of ``Condition'' and Prerequisite 
Requirement for Shell Eggs Eligible for Grading and Certification 
Stated in the Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the 
Regulations Governing the Voluntary Grading of Shell Eggs to clarify 
the definition of ``condition'' and revise the prerequisite requirement 
for shell eggs eligible for voluntary USDA grading and certification. 
The proposed revision to the prerequisite requirement will prohibit the 
use of Salmonella Enteritidis-adulterated or recalled shell eggs from 
being presented to USDA for grading and certification. AMS is proposing 
to revise the definition of ``condition'' to remove any food safety 
implications resulting from the use of the term ``wholesomeness'' and 
clarify that AMS' role in grading and certification of shell eggs is 
solely for a quality determination.

DATES: Comments must be received by June 20, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments concerning 
this proposed rule electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Written comments may also be submitted to Mark Perigen, National Shell 
Egg Supervisor, Quality Assessment Division (QAD), Livestock, Poultry, 
and Seed Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250; or by facsimile to (202) 690-2746. All comments 
should reference the docket number (AMS-LPS-15-0044), the date, and the 
page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Submitted comments 
will be available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov, 
or during regular business hours at the above address. Please be 
advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the 
comments will be made public on the Internet at the address provided 
above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Bowden, Chief, Standardization 
Branch, Quality Assessment Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed 
Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, Stop 0258, Room 3932S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20250; by facsimile to (202) 690-2746; or via email 
David.Bowden@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background and Proposed Changes

    Section 203(c) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (AMA) (7 
U.S.C. 1621-1627) 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.'' The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to 
carrying out this authority in a manner that facilitates the marketing 
of agricultural products while maintaining the integrity of the USDA 
grademark. Shell egg grading is a voluntary program provided under the 
AMA and offered on a fee-for-service basis. It is designed to assist in 
the orderly marketing of shell eggs by providing the official 
certification of egg quality, size, condition, and other factors.
    This proposed amendment is in accordance with recommendations 
stated in the 2012 Audit Report, USDA Controls Over Shell Egg 
Inspection, issued by the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG). In 
that report, OIG stated the regulatory definition of ``condition'' for 
shell eggs was confusing as it relates to quality and food safety. OIG 
also stated the integrity of the USDA grademark for quality was not 
adequately protected from adulterated shell eggs.
    AMS is proposing to revise the definition of ``condition'' to 
remove any food safety implications resulting from the use of the term 
``wholesomeness'' and clarify that AMS' role in grading and 
certification of shell eggs is solely for a quality determination. The 
revised definition will remove the term ``wholesomeness'' and state 
that ``condition'' is a characteristic detected by sensory examination. 
The presence of microorganisms, specifically Salmonella Enteritidis 
(SE) or other pathogens, in the content of an egg cannot be detected 
during such an examination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and 
the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, not AMS, maintain 
jurisdiction for food safety related issues associated with shell eggs.
    AMS is also proposing to revise the prerequisite requirement of 
shell eggs eligible for USDA grading and certification. The revision 
will prohibit the use of SE-adulterated or recalled shell eggs from 
being presented to USDA for grading and certification. This action 
protects the integrity of the USDA grademark for quality and is 
consistent with the current AMS policy implemented subsequent to the 
referenced 2012 OIG audit.

Executive Order 12866, 13175, and 13563

    USDA is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive 
Orders 12866, 13175, and 13563.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-
602, AMS has performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis 
regarding economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities.
    AMS is proposing to amend the Regulations Governing the Voluntary 
Grading of Shell Eggs, 7 CFR part 56 to revise the definition of the 
term ``condition'' to clarify that it relates solely to a quality 
determination and not food safety. The current regulation definition 
for ``condition'' includes the term ``wholesomeness'' which denotes a 
food safety connotation. AMS' role in grading and certification of 
shell eggs is for a quality determination only. By removing any food 
safety related terms from the current definition of ``condition,'' AMS 
will remove confusion or misunderstanding over use of the term.

[[Page 23189]]

    Since this change is a technical correction and editorial in 
nature, and will not result in a change to the way service is provided 
to our customers, AMS has determined it will not have a financial 
impact on small entities that utilize their services.
    AMS also proposes to revise the prerequisite requirement of shell 
eggs eligible for USDA grading and certification. The revision will 
prohibit the use of SE-adulterated shell eggs or recalled shell eggs 
from being presented to USDA for grading and certification.
    The FDA prohibits the use of SE-adulterated shell eggs from being 
sold to consumers. When shell eggs are suspected of being adulterated 
with SE, the packing facility is obligated to test the shell eggs to 
assure only safe product is distributed to consumers. If shell eggs are 
found to be adulterated with SE, the FDA will issue a request to the 
packing facility to voluntarily recall the product, or will exercise 
its mandatory recall authority to return the product to the origin 
facility. The product must either be destroyed or reconditioned under 
FDA supervision.
    Since SE-adulterated shell eggs or shell eggs that have been 
recalled are no longer eligible for distribution to consumers, but are 
either destroyed or reconditioned under the direction of the FDA, 
changing the AMS regulation will not have an impact on small entities 
since those shell eggs are deemed unfit for human consumption.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved 
the information collection and recordkeeping requirements included in 
this proposed rule, and there are no new requirements. Should any 
changes become necessary they would be submitted to OMB for approval. 
The assigned OMB control number is 0581-0128, as approved on July 8, 
2014.
    AMS is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork 
Elimination Act, which requires government agencies in general to 
provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting 
business electronically to the maximum extent possible.

E-Government Act

    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act of 2002 to 
promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to 
provide increased opportunities for citizen access to government 
information and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 56

    Agriculture, Eggs and egg products, Food grades and standards, Food 
labeling, Food packaging, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Voluntary standards.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, it is proposed that 7 
CFR part 56 be amended as follows:

PART 56--REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE VOLUNTARY GRADING OF SHELL EGGS

0
1. The authority citation for part 56 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621 et seq.

0
2. Amend Sec.  56.1 by revising the definition of Condition to read as 
follows:


Sec.  56.1  Meaning of words and terms defined.

* * * * *
    Condition means any characteristic detected by sensory examination 
(visual, touch, or odor), including the state of preservation, 
cleanliness, soundness, or fitness for human food that affects the 
marketing of the product.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  56.40 by revising paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) and adding 
paragraphs (c)(4) and (5) to read as follows:


Sec.  56.40  Grading requirements of shell eggs identified with 
grademarks.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) Not possess any undesirable odors or flavors;
    (3) Not have previously been shipped for retail sale;
    (4) Not originate from a layer house environment determined 
positive for the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) unless the 
eggs from the layer house have been sampled and have tested negative 
for the presence of SE in the eggs; and
    (5) Not originate from eggs testing positive for SE, or not have 
been subject to a product recall.
* * * * *

    Dated: April 14, 2016.
Elanor Starmer,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-09139 Filed 4-19-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P