Success Stories 

R. U. Nuts
Nebraska Extension Partnership

"The training and assistance we received from the Food Processing Center and Nebraska MEP at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was of great assistance in our remaining compliant with Federal regulations, as well helpful in making our production area safer and more efficient."

Randy Ralston, General Manager

Food Safety Plan Assistance | Preventive Controls for Human Food Safety Workshop

A family-owned company in Lincoln, Nebraska, R.U. Nuts Co. was founded in 1983 as a way for a stay-at-home mom to make some extra income. The company grew from a family dining room, to the basement, the garage, and then to a mini storage, gradually expanding its bulk foods business into a multi-state operation. In 1997 the company began small batch coffee roasting and Ahroma Specialty Coffee was born.

R.U. Nuts Company has become a regional wholesale distributor to food retailers and coffee shops. They provide the grocery industry with complete bulk foods and bulk coffee programs, fully serviced. In addition, they equip private label brands with packaging and custom blending of snack and candy products, as well as custom coffee roasting. This service, along with their wide selection of coffee menu products, has allowed them to become a “one stop shop” for independent coffee shops. The company employs 7 full time individuals as well as 30 part time employees.

Situation

New regulations require food manufacturers regulated by the US FDA to write a food safety plan, keep and maintain hazard analyses for all product groups, perform environmental testing, and to have a preventive controls qualified individual (PCQI) on staff.

Solution

R.U. Nuts personnel attended a FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food workshop hosted by the Food Processing Center and Nebraska MEP at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).  Following the workshop, R.U. Nuts worked individually with Dr. Bismarck Martinez and the Food Processing Center to write a food safety plan, perform hazard analyses, and to meet all relevant FDA requirements.

Results

After attending the training and receiving individualized assistance from the Food Processing Center, R. U. Nuts was able to:

  • Retain sales in the range of $250,000+
  • Avoid unnecessary investments of over $50,000
  • Retain 4 existing jobs
  • Qualify associates to meet the Preventive Controls personnel requirements, as well as gain a better understanding of the requirements of the federal regulation
  • The company was able to successfully complete an FDA inspection without any major violations.