The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments about how to effectively educate consumers about food safety practices in their homes. The deadline to submit comments is May 17. Anyone can submit comments via the internet, regular mail, hand delivery or courier. Specific directions on each method are included in the USDA’s notice in the Federal Register.

All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency’s name and the docket number FSIS–2019–0004. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to For access to background documents or comments received, call 202-720–5627 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington  D.C. 20250–3700.

For further information contact:
Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250– 3700; (202) 720–5627.

The notice states:

FSIS has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary (7 CFR 2.18, 2.53) as specified in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451, et seq.) and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). These statutes mandate that FSIS protect the public by verifying that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

FSIS’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) develops consumer education programs concerning the safe handling, preparation, and storage of meat, poultry, and processed egg products, so as to improve consumer food handling behaviors and minimize the incidence of foodborne illness. OPACE shares its food safety messages through The Food Safe Families campaign (a cooperative effort of USDA, Food and Drug Administration [FDA], and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]); social media; AskKaren (an online database of frequently asked food safety questions); the FSIS website; (the cross-federal website operated by FSIS, FDA and CDC used to promote safe food handling to consumers); the Meat and Poultry Hotline; and various publications and events. These messages are focused on the four core food safety behaviors: Clean, separate, cook, and chill.

By testing planned and tailoring existing communication programs and materials, FSIS can help to ensure that it is effectively communicating with the public to improve consumer food safety practices. As part of ongoing activities by OPACE to develop and evaluate its public health education and communication activities, FSIS is requesting approval for a new information collection to conduct exploratory Web-based surveys of consumers. Findings from these surveys will provide information about how FSIS communication programs and materials affect consumer understanding of recommended safe food handling practices, as well as insight into how to effectively inform consumers about recommended practices. The findings will be used to enhance communication programs and materials to improve consumers’ food safety behaviors and help prevent foodborne illness. Additionally, this research will provide useful information for tracking progress toward the goals outlined in the FSIS Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan.

FSIS has contracted with RTI International to conduct two iterations of a web-based survey. The first survey will be conducted in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and the second survey will be conducted in FY 2021. Each iteration of the exploratory survey will collect information from 2,400 randomly selected English-speaking adult members of a probability-based Web- enabled research panel maintained by a subcontractor.

The survey is designed to be representative of the U.S. adult population. This representation is achieved through address-based sampling (ABS), where every U.S. adult with an address (including those who do not have a landline phone number) has an equal probability of being selected for participation on the panel. A random sample of individuals will be selected from the panel for participation in the survey. A pilot will be conducted before the survey to test the survey instrument and procedures.

The first iteration of the survey will collect information on consumer use of and response to the Meat and Poultry Hotline, consumer awareness of TheFood Safe Families campaign, and consumer behaviors for preparing raw meat and poultry products. The topics for the second iteration of the survey have not been determined and will ultimately inform OPACE’s activities to develop and evaluate its public health education and communication activities.

Estimate of Burden: The total estimated burden for each iteration of the survey is 978.2 hours, for a total burden of 1,956.4 hours. To achieve 80 completed surveys during the pretest, 146 randomly selected panel members will be invited via email to take the survey. To achieve 2,400 completed surveys during the full-scale study, 4,400 randomly selected panel members will be invited via email to take the survey. Therefore, a total of 4,546 (146 + 4,400) will be invited to participate in both the pretest and the full-scale study for each iteration of the survey. The invitation email for the pretest and the full-scale survey is expected to take 2 minutes (0.03333 hour). Each survey is expected to take 20 minutes (0.33333 hours) to complete.

Respondents: Consumers.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 9,092.

Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Burden on Respondents: 1,956.4 hours.

Copies of this information collection assessment can be obtained from Gina Kouba, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700; (202) 720–5627.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FSIS’s functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FSIS’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the method and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to both FSIS, at the addresses provided above, and the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20253.

Responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

Additional Public Notification

Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Registerpublication on-line through the FSIS web page located at: http://

FSIS also will also announce and provide a link to it through the FSISConstituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Constituent Update is available on the FSIS web page. Through the web page, FSIS can provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves and have the option to password protect their accounts.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410. Fax: (202) 690–7442. Email: with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD).

Done in Washington, DC.
Carmen M. Rottenberg,
[FR Doc. 2019–04994 Filed 3–15–19; 8:45 am]

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