National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
The National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) will hold a public meeting on June 16-17, 2005, to review and discuss the following issues: (1) How can FSIS best share information on new technology with small and very small plants? (2) What guidance can be provided to industry to ensure that plants hold product when FSIS tests product for an adulterant? (3) How can risk based sampling most effectively be conducted in small and very small plants? Three subcommittees will also meet on June 16-17, 2005, to work on the issues discussed during the full committee session.
International Standard-Setting Activities
This notice informs the public of the sanitary and phytosanitary standard-setting activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), in accordance with section 491 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended, and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Public Law 103-465, 108 Stat. 4809. This notice also provides a list of other standard-setting activities of Codex, including commodity standards, guidelines, codes of practice, and revised texts. This notice, which covers the time periods from June 1, 2004, to May 31, 2005, and June 1, 2005, to May 31, 2006, seeks comments on standards currently under consideration and recommendations for new standards.
HACCP Plan Reassessment for Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is publishing this notice to inform establishments that produce mechanically tenderized beef products that their next annual HACCP plan reassessment for these products must take into account the fact that there have been three relatively recent Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 outbreaks associated with consumption of mechanically tenderized beef. This requirement applies to HACCP plan reassessments for raw and cooked mechanically tenderized beef products, including such products that are injected with marinade (or ``enhanced'' products). One outbreak that was associated with consumption of mechanically tenderized beef occurred in August 2000, one in June 2003, and one in August 2004. The occurrence of these outbreaks represents a change that would affect the hazard analysis and could alter the HACCP plans of establishments that produce mechanically tenderized beef products. Therefore, establishments that produce such products should consider the significance of the outbreaks and ensure that their HACCP plans adequately address relevant biological hazards, particularly E. coli O157:H7. If an establishment that produces mechanically tenderized beef products has already considered the significance of the three outbreaks as part of a HACCP plan reassessment, it need not repeat this effort. An establishment that has already conducted its 2005 reassessment for mechanically tenderized beef products and has not yet considered the significance of the three outbreaks as part of a HACCP plan reassessment should do so as part of its 2006 annual HACCP plan reassessment. FSIS invites comments on this notice.
Food Standards; General Principles and Food Standards Modernization
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (we, our, the agencies) are proposing to establish a set of general principles for food standards. The adherence to these principles will result in standards that will better promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers and protect the public, allow for technological advances in food production, be consistent with international food standards to the extent feasible, and be clear, simple, and easy to use for both manufacturers and the agencies that enforce compliance with the standards. The proposed general principles will establish the criteria that the agencies will use in considering whether a petition to establish, revise, or eliminate a food standard will be the basis for a proposed rule. In addition, each agency may propose to establish, revise, or eliminate a food standard on its own initiative or may propose revisions to a food standard in addition to those a petitioner has requested. These proposed general principles are the agencies' first step in instituting a process to modernize their standards of identity (and any accompanying standards of quality and fill of container) and standards of composition.
Addition of Chile to the List of Countries Eligible To Export Meat and Meat Products to the United States
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to add Chile to the list of countries eligible to export meat and meat products to the United States. Reviews by FSIS of Chile's laws, regulations, and other materials show that its meat inspection system includes requirements equivalent to all provisions in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and its implementing regulations. Although a foreign country may be listed as eligible to export meat and meat products, products from that country must also comply with all other U.S. requirements, including those of the U.S. Customs Service and the restrictions under Title 9, part 94 of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulations that relate to the importation of meat and meat products from foreign countries into the United States. FSIS and APHIS work closely together to ensure that meat and meat products imported into the United States comply with the regulatory requirements of both agencies. Under this proposal, meat and meat products processed in certified Chilean establishments may be exported to the United States. All such products will be subject to re-inspection at United States ports-of- entry by FSIS inspectors.