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Coffee Company Perks Up Their Food Safety

With the help of: TechHelp


Eleven thousand four hundred and eleven--that's the number of cups of coffee the Patano family jokes Terry Patano has made for his wife, Rebecca, in the last thirty years. DOMA, a third-generation family business, is located in Post Falls, Idaho, and named after their two sons, Dominic and Marco.

Along with community and family values, roasting at DOMA combines science and craft. Lead roaster Jim Hottenroth holds a chemistry degree, a background he puts to good use. Each small batch is methodically trialed, tested and recorded in order to create flavorful, consistent roasts. DOMA hopes that dedication and passion will allow them to continue roasting quality coffees for generations to come.

The Challenge

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation requires every processing facility, such as DOMA, to have a trained Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) who has completed an FDA-recognized training program.  DOMA needed this FDA-approved specialized training as well as a food safety plan. A proper food safety plan is a basic requirement needed to expand into national, regional, or local markets. DOMA Coffee took advantage of an opportunity to create its plan under the guidance of TechHelp’s food manufacturing team.

The timing of our completing the Food Safety program with TechHelp was really perfect in relation to this current virus situation. We had completed much of the staff training and implementation early in the year. We were actually in Guatemala when the pandemic started getting crazy. We were quarantined at home for 2 weeks. Fortunately, we had our food safety plan in place, and were able to add a few additional policies and procedures to address the new requirements for keeping an essential business open and safe in the midst of COVID-19. We were able to make the plan changes from home, and since we had a solid food safety team trained and in place, we were able to keep the roastery running safely with no interruptions. If we did not have the training TechHelp provided, it would have been much harder to adjust to, and document, the new reality of shared workspaces. 

— Jim Hottenroth, Roasting Manager

MEP's Role

Terry Patano discovered that a specialized PCQI two-day training course developed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA), was being offered by TechHelp, a member of the MEP National Network™. Participants receive a certificate of completion directly from the FSPCA after completing the course.

In addition, TechHelp was offering the grant-funded Idaho Food Safety Cooperative (IFSC) Program to assist small food manufacturers with developing the required food safety plan. TechHelp provided eligible companies a food safety gap assessment, training, and templates to create a FSMA Compliant Food Safety Plan. TechHelp food manufacturing specialists also offered six hours of one-on-one consulting to help companies create their plans, and the cost of the program was refunded upon completion of the program and food safety plan. The DOMA Coffee team attended both courses and was able to achieve both the PCQI and food safety plan requirements.

Created September 25, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021