Requirements for the Disposition of Cattle That Become Non-Ambulatory Disabled Following Ante-Mortem Inspection
On May 20, 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture announced that the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) would begin working on a proposed rule to prohibit the slaughter of all non-ambulatory disabled cattle, without exception. As announced by the Secretary, FSIS is proposing to amend the Federal meat inspection regulations to remove the provision that states that FSIS inspection personnel will determine the disposition of cattle that become non-ambulatory disabled after they have passed ante-mortem inspection on a case-by-case basis. This proposed rule will require that all cattle that are non-ambulatory disabled at the time they are presented for ante-mortem inspection at an official establishment, and all those that become non-ambulatory disabled after passing ante-mortem inspection, be condemned and properly disposed of.
Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling of Muscle Cuts of Beef (Including Veal), Lamb, Chicken, Goat, and Pork; Ground Beef, Ground Lamb, Ground Chicken, Ground Goat, and Ground Pork
FSIS is conforming its regulations to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) regulations, entitled, ``Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling of Beef, Pork, Lamb, Chicken, Goat Meat, Perishable Agricultural Commodities, Peanuts, Pecans, Ginseng, and Macademia Nuts.'' Therefore, FSIS is amending its regulations to require that a country of origin statement on the label of any meat or poultry product that is a covered commodity, as defined in AMS' interim final regulations (73 FR 45106), and is to be sold by a retailer, as also defined in AMS' interim final regulation, must comply with AMS' interim final regulations. FSIS is also amending its regulations to provide that the addition of country of origin statements on labels of meat or poultry product covered commodities that are to be sold by covered retailers and that comply with the country of origin labeling requirements will be considered to be generically approved. FSIS is not amending its regulations or labeling policies for meat or poultry products that are non-covered commodities. The effective date of AMS' interim final rule for country of origin labeling is September 30, 2008. Therefore, in order to meet the deadline, FSIS is issuing this interim final rule.
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods
This notice announces that the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold public meetings of the full Committee and Subcommittees on September 22-26, 2008. The Committee will discuss: (1) Parameters for inoculated-pack challenge study protocols, and (2) Determination of the most appropriate technologies for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to adopt in performing routine and baseline microbiological analyses.
Nominations for Membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods
This notice announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting nominations for membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). Nominations for membership are being sought from individuals with scientific expertise in the fields of epidemiology, food technology, microbiology (food, clinical, and predictive), risk assessment, infectious disease, biostatistics, and other related sciences. Persons from the Federal government, State governments, industry, consumer groups, and academia, as well as all other interested persons, are invited to submit nominations. Members who are not federal government employees will be appointed to serve as non-compensated special government employees (SGEs). SGEs will be subject to appropriate conflict of interest statutes and standards of ethical conduct. The nominee's typed resume or curriculum vitae must be limited to five one-sided pages and should include educational background, expertise, and a select list of publications. For submissions received that are more than five one-sided pages in length, only the first five pages will be considered.
National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing, pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, that the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) will hold a public meeting on August 27-28, 2008, to review and discuss international equivalence and the approach to verifying the equivalence of foreign food regulatory systems as the means of ensuring the safety of imported food products. The meeting will include discussion of four major perspectives. First, a U.S. government perspective will be presented on the FSIS strategy and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approach. Second, an industry perspective will be presented. Third, a consumer approach will be presented, and finally, the approaches by several foreign governments will be presented and discussed. All issues will be presented to the full Committee. The Committee will then divide into two subcommittees to discuss the issues. Each subcommittee will provide a report of their comments and recommendations to the full Committee before the meeting concludes on August 28, 2008.
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods; Re-establishment
In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice is announcing the re-chartering of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) by the Secretary of Agriculture on June 5, 2008. The Committee is being renewed in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The establishment of the Committee was recommended by a 1985 report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Food Protection, Subcommittee on Microbiological Criteria, ``An Evaluation of the Role of Microbiological Criteria for Foods.'' The current charter for the NACMCF is available for viewing on the NACMCF homepage at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMCF/index.asp.