Given the nature of today’s food supply, it is imperative that all food processors have the knowledge and ability to produce safe, high quality food products. Our primary function is providing a facility that serves as both a food production facility for entrepreneurs and a research facility for the food processing industry. We offer a training course for any start-up and pre-venture food companies — Introduction to Food Manufacturing — which also serves as a prerequisite for those interested in becoming a client and producing at the Food Technology Center.
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For entrepreneurs or small food processors wishing to utilize the full services of the Food Technology Center, we ask that everyone first complete this prerequisite course: Introduction to Food Manufacturing. After completing the class (or while taking the class) you can submit a Client Application for consideration by our staff to determine whether your product and business model will be approved for operations at the FTC. Once your application has been reviewed, and the course completed, an FTC staff member will contact you to discuss your options and initiate the first steps toward processing at the FTC.
In addition to completion of the prerequisite class, in order to manufacture at the Food Technology Center, each client must exhibit the following:
- Legally establish a business and acquire an Idaho Seller’s Permit Number
- Completed ST-101 Form (pdf) for the University of Idaho
- Product Liability Insurance Coverage — Each FTC client must show proof of product liability coverage (minimum $1 million) and that certificate must include University of Idaho Food Technology Center as additionally insured.
- Food Processors License — A valid State of Idaho Food Processors License to be issued by the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare and administered through the appropriate health district Idaho Southwest District Health.
- Business Plan — Within three months of beginning work at the FTC, an operational business plan must be presented to the FTC for review and then again at one year for proof of concept. Each subsequent year of service will also require annual financial report on general sales and growth statistics (to be used for internal FTC metrics only).
- Food Safety Plan — Within 12-18 months of beginning production at the FTC, an operational food safety plan must be in development and/or the proper additional training acquired in order to begin the process for writing your personalize food safety plan.
- Additional Training or Certification — Any food safety training that the FTC, FDA or Idaho Department of Health and Welfare deem necessary for a high-risk food process or additional food safety training for business owners and their employees.
All commercial kitchen clients will receive hands-on training and orientation before independent operation will be allowed. Each tenant will learn facility wide sanitation and GMP practices as well as all necessary safe and sanitary equipment assembly and operations.
Commercial kitchen access will be scheduled by the kitchen supervisor and only available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (time subject to seasonal changes). Clients able to schedule weekly days and/or weeks and months in advance will take priority while any other available time will be scheduled on a first come, first reserved basis.
The Food Technology Center houses 2,000 square foot of dry storage (pallet) and 200 square foot of walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer space. Operational space for supplies (make it and take it) is available to all clients at no extra charge, however, anyone wanting long term or continual storage space reserved for their supplies and finished food products, will be charged reasonable rates on a weekly or monthly basis based on pallet count or shelf space.
We also provide the following technical support services to all small commercial processors and cottage food producers:
- Basic food quality testing
- Nutritional analysis
- Food storage (FTC clients only)
General questions about the FTC facility services or entrepreneurs with questions about becoming an FTC client, storage, nutritional analysis or sample testing should email Cini Baumhoff.
Pilot Plant Research Processing
In addition to helping entrepreneurs, we also contract with large food producers and ag-chemical research companies looking for pilot run processing research or GLP processing studies. Anyone wishing to discuss pilot plant processing capabilities or GLP research processing should email Joshua Bevan.