New regs for Wednesday: Roaster chickens, flame-retardants and vending machines

New regs for Wednesday: Roaster chickens, flame-retardants and vending machines
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Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains news rules from the Food Safety and Inspection Service for roaster chickens, a petition to ban products that contain additive organohalogen flame-retardants and the possibility of new energy efficiency standards for beverage vending machines.

Roaster chickens: The Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is considering changing the standard for indentifying which chickens are “roaster” or “roasting chickens.”

Roasting chickens are determined by the age and ready-to-cook carcass weight of the bird. Because genetic changes and management techniques have continued to reduce the grow-out period and increased the ready-to-cook weight of birds in this poultry class, FSIS said it’s considering removing the eight-week minimum age criteria and increasing the carcass weight from 5 to 5.5 pounds.

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FSIS said it uses poultry class standards to ensure that poultry products are labeled in a truthful and non-misleading manner. The agency said a roaster chicken is a young bird that has tender meat with soft, pliable, smooth-textured skin and breastbone cartilage that is somewhat less flexible than that of a broiler or fryer chicken.  

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rulemaking.

Additive flame-retardants: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is asking for the public to comment on whether it should ban products that contain additive organohalogen flame-retardants.

CPSC said it received a petition from Earthjustice and the Consumer Federation of America, asking the agency to initiate a rulemaking under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act to classify durable infant or toddler products, children’s toys, child care articles, upholstered furniture sold for use in residences; mattress or mattress pads and any electronic device that contains additive organohalogen flame-retardants as a banned hazardous substance.

The petitioners said the chemicals can migrate out of consumer products, cause cancer and negatively impact reproductive organs, brain development, thyroid hormones and the immune system when humans are exposed.  

The public has 60 days to comment on the rulemaking petition.

Vending machines: The Energy Department is considering new energy efficiency standards for refrigerated bottled or canned beverage vending machines.

Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, the agency said it’s required to periodically determine whether more stringent standards would save a significant amount of energy, be technologically feasible and economically justified. 

The Energy Department will hold a public hearing on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be broadcasted as a webinar for those unable to attend in person.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rulemaking.