WASHINGTON -- A group representing a significant segment of the food industry recently sent a letter to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) requesting the agency grant a 60-day extension to the comment period for its supplemental proposed rule on ground and single ingredient meat and poultry products, 74 Fed. Reg. 67736 (Dec. 18, 2009).

The signatories, comprised of the American Meat Institute, Food Marketing Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Grocers Association and National Turkey Federation, explained they need the extension in order to fully respond to the proposal because they “intend to conduct research, gather information from our memberships, and analyze the results and responses.”

The letter notes the associations represent a substantial portion of the meat and poultry production and food wholesale and retail communities and they are committed to participating fully in this rulemaking.

“Nonetheless, the 60-day comment period provided for in the supplemental proposal included some of the heaviest commercial activity for our members,” they explained. “Although we have already begun collecting information from our members, it has become apparent that we will not be able to respond fully by Feb. 16, 2010.”

To the entire letter, click: http://www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/56801