[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 18, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 2481-2492]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-833]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 11 / Wednesday, January 18, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 2481]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 42

RIN 0581-AC52
[Doc. No. AMS-FV-08-0027; FV-05-332]


United States Standards for Condition of Food Containers

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the 
regulations governing the United States (U.S.) Standards for Condition 
of Food Containers. The proposed revisions would remove the Operating 
Characteristic (OC) curves for on-line sampling and inspection and make 
other minor non-substantive changes. These revisions are necessary in 
order to provide standards that reflect current industry practices.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments or 
comments on the Internet. Comments may be sent to Lynne Yedinak, Food 
Technologist, Processed Products Division, Fruit and Vegetable 
Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 0709, South Building 
Stop 0247, Washington, DC 20250-0247; FAX: (202) 690-1527; or Internet: 
http://www.regulations.gov. The current U.S. Standards for Condition of 
Food Containers is available through the address cited below by 
accessing the Internet at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_00/7cfr42_00.html. All comments should reference the document number, 
date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. All 
comments will be posted without change, including any personal 
information provided. All comments submitted in response to this notice 
will be included in the record and will be made available to the public 
on the Internet via: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynne Yedinak at the above address, 
Telephone: (202) 720-9939, Fax: (202) 690-1527, or email 
FQAStaff@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Order 12866 Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed 
by the Office of Management and Budget.
    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the economic impact of 
this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this 
initial regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory action to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Food manufacturers are 
determined to be small businesses if they have 1,000 or less employees 
per 13 CFR part 121.
    There are approximately 22,058 establishments identified in the 
2007 Economic Census as belonging to the North American Industry 
Classification System under the classification of ``food 
manufacturing'' and any number of these establishments could request 
their product containers be inspected under the provisions of the U.S. 
Standards for Condition of Food Containers. Only 402 of these 
establishments would qualify as small businesses under the definition 
provided by the Small Business Administration.
    We have examined the economic implications of this proposed rule on 
small entities. Under the proposed rule, utilization of the U.S. 
Standards for Condition of Food Containers continues to be voluntary. 
Small entities would only incur direct costs when purchasers of their 
packaged food products stipulate in their procurement documents that 
the food containers should conform to the requirements of the U.S. 
Standards for Condition of Food Containers. Since the standards were 
previously amended in May 1983, innovations in packaging technologies 
have provided an increasingly wide variety of acceptable new food 
containers. These new food containers are not represented by the 
current standards. Accordingly, we believe that the economic impact of 
this proposed rule will be minimal because the revisions are necessary 
in order to provide standards that reflect current industry practices. 
Finally, the changes concerning removal of OC curves and other non-
substantive changes will have no adverse impact on small or large 
entities.
    This rule would not impose any additional reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements on either small or large establishments. In 
addition, the Department has not identified any relevant Federal rules 
that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the Standards.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.

Executive Order 12988

    The rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. There are no administrative procedures which must be 
exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of this 
rule.

Background

    The U.S. Standards for Condition of Food Containers (Standards) 
currently provide sampling procedures and acceptance criteria for the 
inspection of stationary lots of filled food containers, which includes 
skip lot sampling and inspection procedures. It also provides on-line 
sampling and inspection procedures for food containers during 
production.
    Stationary lot sampling is the process of randomly selecting sample 
units from a lot whose production has been completed. This type of lot 
is usually stored in a warehouse or in some other storage facility and 
is offered for inspection.
    Skip lot sampling is a special procedure for inspecting stationary 
lots in which only a fraction of the submitted lots are inspected. Skip 
lot inspection can only be instituted when a certain number of lots of 
essentially the same quality have been consecutively accepted.

[[Page 2482]]

    To be acceptable under the examination criteria in the standards, 
lots may contain only a limited number of defects classified as minor, 
major, or critical. Acceptance criteria are based on sampling plans for 
different lot sizes and levels of inspection such as normal, reduced, 
or tightened. Defect tables classify the severity of defects.
    On-line sampling and inspection is a procedure in which subgroups 
of sample units or individual containers are selected randomly from 
pre-designated portions of production. The acceptability of these 
portions of production is determined by inspecting, at the time of 
sampling, the subgroups which represent these portions. For this type 
of sampling, only portions of a lot, rather than a whole lot, may be 
rejected. This helps to identify trouble spots in a production cycle 
quickly, and enables the producer to make timely corrections. This can 
reduce the corrective action costs and the amount of product destroyed 
as a result of packaging problems.
    These standards were developed for use by Government agencies when 
requested to certify filled primary containers or shipping cases, or 
both, for condition. The standards are permissive, and they may be used 
in their entirety or in part by private parties as well.
    AMS proposes to revise the Standards to include:
    (1) Separating Tables I, I-A, II, II-A, III, III-A, and III-B of 
sampling plans for normal, tightened, and reduced inspection by the 
type of sampling plan used (single or double), as well as updating the 
Acceptable Quality Levels (AQLs) for these tables; (2) Updating Table 
IV--Metal Containers (Rigid and Semi-Rigid), Table VI--Glass Containers 
(currently Table V), Table VIII--Rigid and Semi-Rigid Containers 
(Corrugated or Solid Fiberboard, Chipboard, Wood, Tetra Pak, Gable-
Tops, Polymeric Trays, etc.) (currently Table VI), Table IX--Flexible 
Containers (Plastic Bags, Cello, Paper, Textile, Laminated Multi-Layer 
Pouch, Bag, etc.) (currently Table VII), and Table XI--Defects of 
Label, Marking, or Code (currently Table VIII) to incorporate new 
defects and revise existing defects to reflect new packaging 
technologies such as aseptic packaging, metal cans with easy open lids, 
and plastic rings that hold several containers together; (3) Adding new 
defect tables, Table V--Composite Containers (Semi-Rigid Laminated or 
Multi-Layer Paperboard Body with Metal, Plastic, or Combination of 
Metal and Plastic Ends and a Safety Seal Inside the Cap), Table VII--
Plastic Containers (Rigid and Semi-Rigid Bottles, Jars, Tubs, Trays, 
Pails, etc.), and Table XII--Interior Can Defects; (4) removing the 
Operating Characteristic (OC) curves; and (5) other minor non-
substantive changes to clarify the text.
    These revisions to existing tables, addition of new tables, removal 
of OC curves, and updating language in the U.S Standards for Condition 
of Food Containers would enable the standards to be applicable to most 
types of food containers and align the standards to reflect current 
industry practices.
    OC curves found in Sec. Sec.  42.140, 42.141, 42.142, and 42.143 
from Subpart E--Miscellaneous, are proposed to be completely removed. 
While these curves show the ability of the various sampling plans to 
distinguish between accepted and rejected lots, it is our experience 
that the inclusion of these curves is not critical to use of the 
standards. Furthermore, they are readily available in literature and on 
the Internet. Also, Standards for sampling plans including OC Curves 
are currently available in 7 CFR part 43.
    While incorporating the suggested change received during the 
comment period to the Standards, AMS determined, after further analysis 
that additional changes were essential to properly reflect current 
industry practice. These changes included: Critical defect number one 
in Tables IV--Metal Containers, VI--Glass Containers, and IX--Flexible 
Containers was incompletely written and reflected inconsistencies with 
other defects listed in each table; the organization of the defects 
listed in Table IX--Flexible Containers (Plastic, Cellophane, Paper, 
Textile, Laminated Multi-Layer Pouch, Bag, etc.) did not clearly 
categorize the defects unique to thermostabilized (heat-treated) 
products in flexible containers; and that many plastic containers 
currently utilized by food manufacturers did not belong in Table IX--
Flexible Containers (Plastic, Cellophane, Paper, Textile, Laminated 
Multi-Layer Pouch, Bag, etc.) since they maintain their shape when 
empty.
    A proposed rule regarding the revision of the U.S. Standards for 
Condition of Food Containers was published in the Federal Register on 
November 19, 2009 [74 FR 59920]. A comment period of sixty days was 
issued which closed on January 19, 2010. AMS received and analyzed two 
comments in regards to the proposed revisions.

Comments

    One commenter requested substances such as BPA not be used in 
containers. No changes were made based on this comment as it is outside 
the scope of the rule.
    The other commenter supported the proposed rule revision and 
provided statements regarding Sec.  42.112--Defects of containers. The 
commenter stated that while Table IV of Sec.  42.112 has defects for 
``for'' composite cans listed as a subset of the metal can defects, 
composite cans also exhibit defects consistent with defects listed in 
Table VI (Rigid and Semi-rigid containers). The comment proposed a 
separate table be added for composite cans extracting the composite can 
defects from the two current tables. Based on this comment, AMS removed 
the composite information in Sec.  42.112 Table IV and added an 
additional table to Sec.  42.112, Table V. Composite information from 
Table VI was also included in the new table.
    AMS is reproposing the Standards with a sixty-day comment period to 
provide for all interested persons to comment on AMS' proposed 
modifications. All written comments received will be considered before 
a final determination is made on this matter.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 42

    Food packaging, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 42 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 42--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 42 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 203, 205, 60 Stat. 1087, as amended, 1090, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 1622, 1624).

    2. Section 42.102 is amended by:
    a. Removing the definitions ``Operating Characteristic Curve (OC 
Curve)'' and ``Probability of acceptance (a) For stationary lot 
sampling and (b) For On-line Sampling''.
    b. Revising the definitions ``Administrator'', ``Lot or inspection 
lot'', ``Sample size (n)'', ``Stationary lot sampling'' to read as 
follows:


Sec.  42.102  Definitions, general.

* * * * *
    Administrator. The Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing 
Service (AMS) of the Department or any other officer or employee of the 
Agency who is delegated, or who may be delegated the authority to act 
in the Administrator's stead.
* * * * *
    Lot or inspection lot. A collection of filled food containers of 
the same size, type, and style. The term shall mean

[[Page 2483]]

``inspection lot,'' i.e., a collection of units of product from which a 
sample is to be drawn and inspected to determine conformance with the 
applicable acceptance criteria. An inspection lot may differ from a 
collection of units designated as a lot for other purposes (e.g., 
production lot, shipping lot, etc.).
* * * * *
    Sample size (n). The number of sample units included in the sample.
* * * * *
    Stationary lot sampling. The process of randomly selecting sample 
units from a lot whose production has been completed. This type of lot 
is usually stored in a warehouse or in some other storage facility and 
is offered in its entirety for inspection.
* * * * *


Sec.  42.106  [Amended]

    3. In Sec.  42.106, paragraph (a)(1), remove the word ``atributed'' 
and add in its place the word ``attributed''.
    4. Revise Sec.  42.109, to read as follows:


Sec.  42.109  Sampling plans for normal condition of container 
inspection, Tables I and I-A.

                                       Table I--Single Sampling Plans for Normal Condition of Container Inspection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Acceptable quality levels
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Lot size ranges--                                          Origin inspection                         Other than origin inspection
     Code            number of           Type of plan    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 containers in lot                                       0.25           1.5           6.5           0.25           2.5          10.0
                                                            Sample  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             size      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA...........  6,000 or less.......  Single.............         84      0      1      3      4      9     10       0      1      4      5     13     14
CB...........  6,001-12,000........  Single.............        168      1      2      5      6     16     17       1      2      7      8     23     24
CC...........  12,001-36,000.......  Single.............        315      2      3      8      9     28     29       2      3     13     14     41     42
CD...........  Over 36,000.........  Single.............        500      3      4     12     13     42     43       3      4     18     19     62     63
CE...........  ....................  Single.............        800      4      5     18     19     64     65       4      5     27     28     95     96
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ac = Acceptance number.
Re = Rejection number.

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P

[[Page 2484]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP18JA12.000

BILLING CODE 3401-02-C
    5. Revise Sec.  42.110, to read as follows:


Sec.  42.110  Sampling plans for tightened condition of container 
inspection; Tables II and II-A.

[[Page 2485]]



                                     Table II--Single Sampling Plans for Tightened Condition of Container Inspection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             Acceptable quality levels
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Lot size ranges--                                          Origin inspection                         Other than origin inspection
     Code            number of           Type of plan    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 containers in lot                                       0.25           1.5           6.5           0.25           2.5          10.0
                                                            Sample  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             size      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CB...........  6,000 or less.......  Single.............        168      0      1      4      5     11     12       0      1      5      6     16     17
CC...........  6,001-12,000........  Single.............        315      1      2      6      7     19     20       1      2      8      9     28     29
CD...........  12,001-36,000.......  Single.............        500      2      3      9     10     28     29       2      3     12     13     42     43
CE...........  Over 36,000.........  Single.............        800      3      4     13     14     42     43       3      4     18     19     64     65
CF...........  ....................  Single.............      1,250      4      5     19     20     63     64       4      5     26     27     96     97
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                    Table II-A--Double Sampling Plans for Tightened Condition of Container Inspection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  Acceptable quality levels
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Lot size ranges--                                                    Origin inspection                    Other than origin inspection
   Code         number of         Type of plan       Sample size    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            containers in lot                                            0.25           1.5           6.5           0.25           2.5          10.0
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re      Ac     Re     Ac     Re
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CB........  6,000 or less....  Double...........  1st--120.........    (*)    (*)      2      5      6     10    (*)    (*)       2      6     10     14
                                                  2d--60...........
�����������
                                                  Total--180.......    (*)    (*)      4      5     12     13    (*)    (*)       5      6     17     18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CC........  6,001-12,000.....  Double...........  1st--168.........      0      2      1      5      7     13      0      2       2      7     12     18
                                                  2d--180..........
�����������
                                                  Total--348.......      1      2      7      8     21     22      1      2       9     10     31     32
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CD........  12,001-36,000....  Double...........  1st--228.........      0      3      2      7      8     17      0      3       3      9     15     24
                                                  2d--288..........
�����������
                                                  Total--516.......      2      3      9     10     29     30      2      3      12     13     43     44
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CE........  Over 36,000......  Double...........  1st--456.........      0      4      5     10     21     28      0      4       8     13     32     41
                                                  2d--408..........
�����������
                                                  Total--864.......      3      4     14     15     44     45      3      4      19     20     69     70
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(*) = Reject on one or more defects.

    6. Revise Sec.  42.111, to read as follows:


Sec.  42.111  Sampling plans for reduced condition of container 
inspection, Tables III and III-A; and limit number for reduced 
inspection, Table III-B.

                                     Table III--Single Sampling Plans for Reduced Condition of Container Inspection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                   Acceptable quality levels
                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Lot size ranges--                                    Origin inspection                          Other than origin inspection
   Code         number of       Type of plan   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              containers in                                    0.25           1.5           6.5          0.25           2.5           10.0
                   lot                            Sample  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   size      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re      Ac     Re
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CAA.......  6,000 or less...  Single..........         29      1      2      1      2      4      5      1      2      2      3       5      6
CA........  6,001-36,000....  Single..........         84      1      2      3      4      9     10      1      2      4      5      13     14
CB........  Over 36,000.....  Single..........        168      1      2      5      6     16     17      1      2      7      8      23     24
CC........                    Single..........        315      2      3      8      9     28     29      2      3     13     14      41     42
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                    Table III-A--Double Sampling Plans for Reduced Condition of Container Inspection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  Acceptable quality levels
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Lot size ranges--                                                    Origin inspection                    Other than origin inspection
   Code         number of         Type of plan       Sample size    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            containers in lot                                            0.25           1.5           6.5           0.25           2.5          10.0
                                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re      Ac     Re     Ac     Re     Ac     Re
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CAA.......  6,000 or less....  Double...........  1st--18                0      2      0      2      1      4       0      2      0      3      2      5
                                                  2d--18.
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Totals--36             1      2      1      2      5      6       1      2      2      3      6      7
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA........  6,001-36,000.....  Double...........  1st--36,               0      2      0      4      2      7       0      2      0      4      3      9

[[Page 2486]]

 
                                                  2d--60.
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Total........96        1      2      3      4     10     11       1      2      4      5     15     16
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CB........  Over 36,000......  Double...........  1st--120               0      2      2      6     10     14       0      2      3      7     14     19
                                                  2d--60.
                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Total--180             1      2      5      6     17     18       1      2      8      9     25     26
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                               Table III--B--Limit Numbers for Reduced Inspection
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               Acceptable quality level
 Number of sample units from last 10 lots inspected within 6 months --------------------------------------------
                                                                       0.25     1.5      2.5      6.5      10.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
320-499............................................................      (*)        1        4       14       24
500-799............................................................      (*)        3        7       25       40
800-1,249..........................................................        0        7       14       42       68
1,250-1,999........................................................        0       13       24       69      110
2,000-3,149........................................................        2       22       40      115      181
3,150-4,999........................................................        4       38       67      186      293
5,000-7,999........................................................        7       63      110      302      472
8,000-12,499.......................................................       14      105      181      491      765
12,500-19,999......................................................       24      169      290      777     1207
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Denotes that the number of sample units from the last 10 inspection lots is not sufficient for reduced
  inspection for this AQL. In this instance more than 10 inspection lots may be used for the calculations if;
  the inspection lots used are the most recent ones in sequence within the last 6 months, they have all been on
  normal inspection, and none has been rejected on original inspection.

    7. Section Sec.  42.112, is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  42.112  Defects of containers: Tables IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, 
and X.

            Table IV--Metal Containers (Rigid and Semi-Rigid)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Closure incomplete, not located
 correctly or not sealed,
 crimped, or fitted properly:
     (a) Heat processed primary              1  ...........  ...........
     container...................
     (b) Non-heat processed        ...........          101  ...........
     primary container...........
     (c) Other than primary        ...........  ...........          201
     container...................
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          202
 container.......................
Key opening metal containers
 (when required):
     (a) Key missing.............  ...........          102  ...........
     (b) Key does not fit tab....  ...........          103  ...........
     (c) Tab of opening band       ...........          104  ...........
     insufficient to provide
     accessibility to key........
     (d) Improper scoring (band    ...........          105  ...........
     would not be removed in one
     continuous strip)...........
Metal pop-top:
     (a) Missing or broken pull    ...........          106  ...........
     tab.........................
     (b) Missing or incomplete     ...........          107  ...........
     score line..................
Flexible pop-top:
     (a) Poor seal (wrinkle,       ...........          108  ...........
     entrapped matter, etc.).....
     (b) Short pull tab..........  ...........  ...........          203
     (c) Missing pull tab........  ...........          109  ...........
     (d) Torn pull tab...........  ...........  ...........          204
Open top with plastic overcap
 (when required):
     (a) Plastic overcap missing.  ...........          110  ...........
     (b) Plastic overcap warped    ...........          111  ...........
     (making opening or
     reapplication difficult)....
Outside tinplate or coating (when
 required):
     (a) Missing or incomplete...  ...........  ...........          205
     (b) Blistered, flaked,        ...........  ...........          206
     sagged, or wrinkled.........
     (c) Scratched or scored.....  ...........  ...........          207
     (d) Fine cracks.............  ...........  ...........          208

[[Page 2487]]

 
Rust (rust stain confined to the
 top or bottom double seam or
 rust that can be removed with a
 soft cloth is not scored a
 defect):
     (a) Rust stain..............  ...........  ...........          209
     (b) Pitted rust.............  ...........          112  ...........
Wet cans (excluding refrigerated   ...........  ...........          210
 containers).....................
Dent:
     (a) Materially affecting      ...........  ...........          211
     appearance but not usability
     (b) Materially affecting      ...........          113  ...........
     usability...................
Buckle:
     (a) Not involving end seam..  ...........  ...........          212
     (b) Extending into the end    ...........          114  ...........
     seam........................
Collapsed container..............  ...........          115  ...........
Paneled side materially affecting  ...........  ...........          213
 appearance but not usability....
Solder missing when required.....  ...........          116  ...........
Cable cut exposing seam..........  ...........          117  ...........
Improper side seam...............  ...........          118  ...........
Swell, springer, or flipper (not             2  ...........  ...........
 applicable to gas or pressure
 packed product or frozen
 products).......................
Leaker or blown container........            3  ...........  ...........
Frozen products only:
     (a) Bulging ends \3/16\-inch  ...........  ...........          214
     to \1/4\-inch beyond lip....
     (b) Bulging ends more than    ...........          119  ...........
     \1/4\-inch beyond lip.......
    Metal drums: leaking filling             4          120  ...........
     seal (bung) swell \1\.......
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Defect classification depends on the severity of the defect.


 Table V--Composite Containers (Fiberboard Body With Metal Lids or Metal
                 Bottoms, Plastic or Foil Top With Cap)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Closure incomplete, not located              1  ...........  ...........
 correctly or not sealed,
 crimped, or fitted properly:....
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          201
 container.......................
Easy open closure:
    (a) Pull tab:................  ...........  ...........  ...........
        1. Missing or broken pull  ...........          101  ...........
         tab.....................
        2. Missing or incomplete   ...........          102  ...........
         score line..............
    (b) Membrane top:............  ...........  ...........  ...........
        1. Poor seal (wrinkle,     ...........          103  ...........
         entrapped matter, etc.).
        2. Short pull tab........  ...........          104  ...........
        3. Missing pull tab......  ...........          105  ...........
        4. Torn pull tab.........  ...........          106  ...........
    (c) Open top with plastic      ...........  ...........  ...........
     overcap (when required):....
        1. Plastic overcap         ...........          107  ...........
         missing.................
        2. Plastic overcap warped  ...........          108  ...........
         (making opening or
         reapplication difficult)
Outside tinplate or coating on
 ends (when required):
    (a) Missing or incomplete....  ...........  ...........          202
    (b) Blistered, flaked,         ...........  ...........          203
     sagged, or wrinkled.........
    (c) Scratched or scored......  ...........  ...........          204
    (d) Fine cracks..............  ...........  ...........          205
Collapsed container..............  ...........          109  ...........
Paneled side materially affecting  ...........  ...........          206
 appearance but not usability....
Leaker...........................            2  ...........  ...........
Wet or damp:
    (a) Materially affecting       ...........  ...........          207
     appearance but not usability
    (b) Materially affecting       ...........          110  ...........
     usability...................
Crushed or torn area:
    1. Materially affecting        ...........  ...........          208
     appearance but not usability
    2. Materially affecting        ...........          111  ...........
     usability...................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 2488]]


               Table VI--Glass Containers (Bottles, Jars)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Closure not sealed, crimped, or
 fitted properly:
    (a) Heat processed...........            1  ...........  ...........
    (b) Non-heat processed.......  ...........          101  ...........
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          201
 container.......................
Chip in glass....................  ...........  ...........          202
Stone (unmelted material) in       ...........  ...........          203
 glass...........................
Pits in surface of glass.........  ...........  ...........          204
Sagging surface..................  ...........  ...........          205
Bead (bubble within glass):......  ...........  ...........  ...........
    (a) \1/8\-inch to \3/16\-inch  ...........  ...........          206
     in diameter.................
    (b) Exceeding \1/8\-inch in    ...........          102  ...........
     diameter....................
Checked..........................  ...........          103  ...........
Thin spot in glass...............  ...........          104  ...........
Blister (structural defect)......  ...........          105  ...........
Bird swing (glass appendage                  2  ...........  ...........
 inside container)...............
Broken or leaking container......            3  ...........  ...........
Cap (nonheat processed):
    (a) Cross-threaded...........  ...........  ...........          207
    (b) Loose but not leaking....  ...........  ...........          208
    (c) Pitted rust..............  ...........          106  ...........
Cap (heat processed):
    (a) Cross-threaded or loose..            4  ...........  ...........
    (b) Pitted rust..............  ...........          107  ...........
Sealing tape or cello band (when
 required):
    (a) Improperly placed........  ...........  ...........          209
    (b) Not covering juncture of   ...........          108  ...........
     cap and glass...............
    (c) Ends overlap by less than  ...........          109  ...........
     \1/2\-inch..................
    (d) Loose or deteriorating...  ...........          110  ...........
Missing or torn outer safety seal  ...........          111  ...........
Inner safety seal--missing, torn,  ...........          112  ...........
 poor seal.......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


   Table VII--Plastic Containers (Rigid and Semi-Rigid, Bottles, Jars,
                        Tubs, Trays, Pails, etc.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Closure not sealed, crimped, or
 fitted properly:
     (a) Heat processed..........            1  ...........  ...........
     (b) Non-heat processed......  ...........          101  ...........
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          201
 container.......................
Chip in plastic..................  ...........  ...........          202
Un-melted gels in plastic........  ...........  ...........          203
Pits in surface of plastic.......  ...........  ...........          204
Sagging surface..................  ...........  ...........          205
Air bubble within plastic:
     (a) \1/8\-inch to \1/16\-     ...........  ...........          206
     inch in diameter............
     (b) Exceeding \1/8\-inch in   ...........          102
     diameter....................
Checked..........................  ...........          103
Thin spot in plastic.............  ...........          104
Blister (structural defect)......  ...........          105
Broken or leaking container......            2  ...........  ...........
Cap (non-heat processed):
     (a) Cross-threaded..........  ...........  ...........          207
     (b) Loose but not leaking...  ...........  ...........          208
Cap (heat processed), cross-                 3  ...........  ...........
 threaded or loose...............
Security seals:
     (a) Closure ring missing....  ...........          106  ...........
     (b) Missing or torn outer     ...........          107  ...........
     safety seal.................
     (c) Inner safety seal--       ...........          108  ...........
     missing, torn, or poor seal.
     (d) Sealing tape or cello
     band (when required):
        1. Improperly placed.....  ...........  ...........          209
        2. Not covering juncture   ...........          109  ...........
         of cap and plastic......
        3. Ends overlap by less    ...........          110  ...........
         than \1/2\-inch.........

[[Page 2489]]

 
        4. Loose or deteriorating  ...........          111  ...........
Closure not sealed, crimped, or
 fitted properly.................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Table VIII--Rigid and Semi-Rigid Containers--Corrugated or Solid
       Fiberboard, Chipboard, Wood, Aseptic, Polymeric Trays, etc.
                  [Excluding metal, glass, and plastic]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Component part missing...........  ...........          101  ...........
Closure not sealed, crimped, or
 fitted properly:
    (a) Primary container........            1
     (b) Other than primary        ...........  ...........          201
     container...................
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          202
 container.......................
Wet or damp (excluding ice
 packs):
     (a) Materially affecting      ...........  ...........          203
     appearance but not usability
     (b) Materially affecting      ...........          102  ...........
     usability...................
Moldy area.......................            2  ...........  ...........
Crushed or torn area:
     (a) Materially affecting      ...........  ...........          204
     appearance but not usability
     (b) Materially affecting      ...........          103  ...........
     usability...................
Separation of lamination
 (corrugated fiberboard):
     (a) Materially affecting      ...........  ...........          205
     appearance but not usability
     (b) Materially affecting      ...........          104  ...........
     usability...................
Product sifting or leaking.......  ...........          105  ...........
Nails or staples (when required):
     (a) Not as required,          ...........  ...........          206
     insufficient number or
     improperly positioned.......
     (b) Nails or staples          ...........          106  ...........
     protruding..................
Glue or adhesive (when required);
 not holding properly, not
 covering area specified, or not
 covering sufficient area to hold
 properly:
     (a) Primary container.......  ...........          107  ...........
     (b) Other than primary        ...........  ...........          207
     container...................
Flap:
     (a) Projects beyond edge of   ...........  ...........          208
     container more than 1/4-inch
     (b) Does not meet properly,   ...........  ...........          209
     allowing space of more than
     1/4-inch....................
Sealing tape or strapping (when
 required):
     (a) Missing.................  ...........          108  ...........
     (b) Improperly placed or      ...........  ...........          210
     applied.....................
Missing component (straw, etc.)..  ...........  ...........          211
Aseptic containers:
Missing re-sealable cap or tab...  ...........          109  ...........
Inner or outer safety seal--                 3  ...........  ...........
 missing, torn, poor seal........
Thermostabilized polymeric trays:
Tray body:
     (a) Swollen container.......            4  ...........  ...........
     (b) Tear, crack, hole,                  5  ...........  ...........
     abrasion through more than
     one layer of multi-layer
     laminate for the tray.......
     (c) Presence of delamination  ...........  ...........          212
     in multi-layered laminate...
     (d) Presence of any           ...........  ...........          213
     permanent deformation, such
     that deformed area is
     discolored or roughened in
     texture.....................
Lid material:
     (a) Closure seal not                    6  ...........  ...........
     continuous along tray flange
     surface.....................
     (b) Foldover wrinkle in seal            7  ...........  ...........
     area extends into the
     closure seal such that the
     closure seal is reduced to
     less than 1/8-inch..........
     (c) Any impression or design  ...........          110  ...........
     on the seal surfaces which
     conceals or impairs visual
     detection of seal defects...
     (d) Areas of ``wave-like''    ...........  ...........          214
     striations or wrinkles along
     the seal area that spans the
     entire width of seal........
     (e) Abrasion of lid
     material:
        1. Within \1/16\-inch of             8  ...........  ...........
         food product edge of
         seal such that barrier
         layer is exposed........
        2. Greater than \1/16\-    ...........  ...........          215
         inch from food product
         edge of seal that
         barrier layer is exposed
     (f) Presence of entrapped               9  ...........  ...........
     matter within \1/16\-inch of
     the food product edge of
     seal or entrapped moisture
     or vapor with \1/16\-inch of
     the food product edge of
     seal that results in less
     than \1/16\-inch of defect
     free seal width at the
     outside edge................
     (g) Presence of any seal      ...........          111  ...........
     defect or anomaly (for
     example, entrapped moisture,
     gases, etc.) within \1/16\-
     inch of food product edge of
     seal........................

[[Page 2490]]

 
 (h) Closure seal width less than  ...........  ...........          216
 \1/8\-inch......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


   Table IX--Flexible Containers (Plastic, Cellophane, Paper, Textile,
                 Laminated Multi-Layer Pouch, Bag, etc.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Categories
             Defects              --------------------------------------
                                     Critical      Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type or size of container or
 component parts not as specified             None permitted.
                                  --------------------------------------
Closure not sealed, crimped,       ...........  ...........  ...........
 stitched, or fitted properly:
    (a) Heat processed primary               1  ...........  ...........
     container...................
    (b) Non-heat processed         ...........          101  ...........
     primary container...........
    (c) Other than primary         ...........  ...........          201
     container...................
Dirty, stained, or smeared         ...........  ...........          202
 container.......................
Unmelted gels in plastic.........  ...........  ...........          203
Torn or cut container or abrasion  ...........  ...........  ...........
 (non-leaker):
    (a) Materially affecting       ...........  ...........          204
     appearance but not usability
    (b) Materially affecting       ...........          102  ...........
     usability...................
Moldy area.......................            2  ...........  ...........
Individual packages sticking       ...........          103  ...........
 together or to shipping case
 (tear when separated)...........
Not fully covering product.......  ...........          104  ...........
Wet or damp (excluding ice         ...........  ...........  ...........
 packs):
    (a) Materially affecting       ...........  ...........          205
     appearance but not usability
    (b) Materially affecting       ...........          105  ...........
     usability Over wrap (when
     required):..................
    (a) Missing..................  ...........          106  ...........
    (b) Loose, not sealed, or      ...........  ...........          206
     closed......................
    (c) Improperly applied.......  ...........  ...........          207
Sealing tape, strapping, or        ...........  ...........  ...........
 adhesives (when required):
    (a) Missing..................  ...........          107  ...........
    (b) Improperly placed,         ...........  ...........          208
     applied, torn, or wrinkled..
Tape over bottom and top closures  ...........  ...........  ...........
 (when required):
    (a) Not covering stitching...  ...........          108  ...........
    (b) Torn (exposing stitching)  ...........          109  ...........
    (c) Wrinkled (exposing         ...........          110  ...........
     stitching)..................
    (d) Not adhering to bag:       ...........  ...........  ...........
        1. Exposing stitching....  ...........          111  ...........
        2. Not exposing stitching  ...........  ...........          209
    (e) Improper placement.......  ...........  ...........          210
Product sifting or leaking:        ...........  ...........  ...........
    (a) Non-heat processed.......  ...........          112  ...........
    (b) Heat processed...........            3  ...........  ...........
Flexible pop-top:                  ...........  ...........  ...........
    (a) Poor seal (wrinkle,                  4  ...........  ...........
     entrapped matter, etc.)
     reducing intact seal to less
     than \1/16\-inch............
    (b) Short pull tab             ...........  ...........          212
     (materially affecting
     usability)..................
    (c) Missing pull tab.........  ...........          113  ...........
    (d) Torn pull tab (materially  ...........  ...........          213
     affecting usability)........
Missing component (straw, etc.)..  ...........  ...........          214
    Two part container (poly       ...........  ...........  ...........
     lined box or bag in box):
    (a) Outer case torn..........  ...........  ...........          215
    (b) Poly liner:                ...........  ...........  ...........
        1. Missing...............            5  ...........  ...........
        2. Improper closure......  ...........          114  ...........
Missing ``zip lock'' (re-sealable  ...........  ...........          216
 containers).....................
Loss of vacuum (in vacuum-packed)  ...........          115  ...........
Pre-formed containers:             ...........  ...........  ...........
    (a) Dented or crushed area...  ...........  ...........          217
    (b) Deformed container.......  ...........  ...........          218
Missing re-sealable cap..........  ...........          116  ...........
Inner or outer safety seal--                 6  ...........  ...........
 missing, torn, poor seal........
Air bubble in plastic............  ...........          117  ...........
Thermostabilized products          ...........  ...........  ...........
 (includes but not limited to
 tubes, pouches, etc.):
Foldover wrinkle in seal area      ...........  ...........  ...........
 (thermostabilized pouches):
    (a) Extends through all plies            7  ...........  ...........
     across seal area or reduces
     seal less than \1/16\-inch..
    (b) Does not extend through    ...........  ...........          219
     all plies and effective seal
     to is \1/16\-inch or greater
Incomplete seal (thermostabilized            8  ...........  ...........
 pouches)........................
Non-bonding seal                             9  ...........  ...........
 (thermostabilized pouches)......

[[Page 2491]]

 
Laminate separation in body of     ...........  ...........  ...........
 pouch or in seal within \1/16\-
 inch of food product edge:
    (a) If food contact layer is            10  ...........  ...........
     exposed.....................
    (b) If food contact surface    ...........          118  ...........
     is exposed after
     manipulation or laminate
     separation expands after
     manipulation................
    (c) If lamination separation   ...........  ...........          220
     is limited to isolated spots
     that do not propagate with
     manipulation or is outer ply
     separation in seal within \1/
     16\-inch of food product
     edge of seal................
Flex cracks (cracks in foil layer  ...........  ...........          221
 only)...........................
Swollen container................           11  ...........  ...........
Blister (in seal) reducing intact           12  ...........  ...........
 seal to less than \1/16\-inch...
Compressed seal (overheated to              13  ...........  ...........
 bubble or expose inner layer)
 reducing intact seal to less
 than \1/16\-inch................
Stringy seal (excessive plastic    ...........  ...........          222
 threads showing at edge of seal
 area)...........................
Contaminated seal (entrapped                14  ...........  ...........
 matter) reducing intact seal to
 less than \1/16\-inch...........
Seal creep (product in pouch                15  ...........  ...........
 ``creeping'' into seal) reducing
 intact seal to less than \1/16\
 inch............................
Misaligned or crooked seal                  16  ...........  ...........
 reducing intact seal to less
 than \1/16\-inch................
Seal formed greater than 1-inch    ...........  ...........          223
 from edge of pouch (unclosed
 edge flaps).....................
Waffling (embossing on surface     ...........  ...........          224
 from retort racks; not scorable
 unless severe)..................
Poor or missing tear notch (when   ...........  ...........          225
 required).......................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


     Table X--Unitizing (Plastic or Other Type of Casing/Unitizing)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Categories
                    Defects                    -------------------------
                                                   Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not specified method..........................          101  ...........
Missing tray (when required)..................          102  ...........
Missing shrink wrap (when required)...........          103  ...........
Loose or improperly applied wrap..............  ...........          201
Torn or mutilated.............................  ...........          202
Off-center wrap (does not overlap both ends)..  ...........          203
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    8. Section 42.113 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  42.113  Defects of label, marking, or code.

                    Table XI--Label, Marking, or Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Categories
                    Defects                    -------------------------
                                                   Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not specified method..........................          101  ...........
Missing (when required).......................          102  ...........
Loose or improperly applied...................  ...........          201
Torn or mutilated.............................  ...........          202
Torn or scratched, obliterating any markings            103  ...........
 on the label.................................
Text illegible or incomplete..................  ...........          203
Incorrect.....................................          104  ...........
In wrong location.............................  ...........          204
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9. Add Sec.  42.114 to read as follows:


Sec.  42.114  Procedures for Evaluating Interior Container Defects.

    (a) Sections 42.101 through 42.136 of this part provide procedures 
for determining lot conformance with the U.S. Standards for Condition 
of Food Containers. This determination is based on the examination of 
the external characteristics of the food containers.
    (b) As an option, if a user of the inspection service requests to 
have the interior characteristics of containers examined, and apply 
these results in the determination of lot acceptability, the defects 
listed in Table XII of this section may be used.
    (c) The determination of lot acceptability based on internal 
container defects shall be independent of the determination of lot 
acceptability for U.S. Standards for Condition of Food Containers. A 
user of the inspection service may choose to require inspection for 
internal can defects as well as inspection for U.S. Standards for 
Condition of Food Containers.
    (d) If a user of the inspection service requests an examination for 
internal container defects in addition to an official USDA/USDC 
inspection for product quality and/or U.S. grade, the containers opened 
by the official inspection service for inspection of product quality 
and/or U.S. grade will be used for examination of interior container 
defects. The minimum sample size for evaluation of interior container

[[Page 2492]]

defects will be 13 containers. As a result, additional containers will 
be required if the inspection for quality or U.S. grade calls for fewer 
than 13 containers. Table XIII of this section provides acceptance 
numbers for internal container defects for selected sample sizes.

                  Table XII--Interior Container Defects
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Categories
                    Defects                    -------------------------
                                                   Major        Minor
------------------------------------------------------------------------
De-tinning in metal container materially                101  ...........
 affecting usability..........................
De-tinning in metal container not materially    ...........          201
 affecting usability..........................
Black spots in metal container................  ...........          202
Enamel missing (when required) in metal                 102  ...........
 container....................................
Enamel breakdown in metal container material            103  ...........
 affecting usability..........................
Enamel cracked in metal container material not  ...........          203
 affecting usability..........................
Interior of container damaged materially                104  ...........
 affecting usability..........................
Interior of container damaged not materially    ...........          204
 affecting usability..........................
Other anomaly (ies) of the interior of the              105  ...........
 container (metal, plastic, paper, rigid,
 etc.) that materially affects usability......
Other anomaly (ies) of the interior of the      ...........          205
 container (metal, plastic, paper, rigid,
 etc.) that materially affects appearance but
 not usability................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


      Table XIII--Acceptance Numbers for Internal Container Defects
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Major         Total
                                             ---------------------------
                                                Interior      Interior
   Sample size  (n = number of containers)       defects       defects
                                             ---------------------------
                                                Ac     Re     Ac     Re
------------------------------------------------------------------------
n--13.......................................      0      1      2      3
n--21.......................................      1      2      3      4
n--29.......................................      1      2      4      5
n--38.......................................      2      3      5      6
n--48.......................................      2      3      6      7
n--60.......................................      2      3      7      8
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated: January 10, 2012.
David R. Shipman,
Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-833 Filed 1-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P