Donna F Schaffner

Associate Director, Food Safety, Quality Assurance & Training
Rutgers University Food Innovation Center

Donna is a Food Microbiologist who earned Food Science B.S. and M.S. at the University of Georgia. Her early experiences in the food industry spanned the spectrum from candling eggs to meat cutter and cooking/catering for large events, working as a veterinary technician then a laboratory technician for the UGA Food Science Department. While at UGA she taught lab classes for Environmental Microbiology, Principles of RadioIsotopes and other classes while serving as on the university Radiation Safety Committee. Donna worked as a technical writer and scientific publishing consultant before coming to NJ and joining the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education as a lecturer for a number of classes including Good Manufacturing Practices, HACCP, Microbiology of Food-borne Illness, portions of the Better Process Control School and several others. Her professional career includes time as a HACCP Coordinator and Quality Systems Supervisor for the world’s largest egg processor, corporate HACCP auditor and experience setting up Quality Systems, Recordkeeping, Supplier Audits, USDA & FDA inspections, and Kosher, Organic and SQF certification. Donna taught HACCP and Food Safety classes for Rutgers and several county colleges for 20+ years and delivered customized training programs to food companies throughout the US under State and Federal Department of Labor Programs as well as through her private consulting business.

Since becoming Associate Director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Donna continues to work with the food industry to solve food safety problems. She leads an exceptional Team of Food Safety professionals who work directly with food processors to assess their existing programs and to get documentation in place for higher-level audits and certifications. An invited speaker on many Food Safety topics to Professional Meetings, Donna’s has experience working with products ranging from baked goods to flavors and fragrances, pasteurized liquid eggs, canned vegetables and soups, fresh cut produce, frozen pasta, chocolates, ready to eat microwaveable meals, soy products, fully cooked meat and egg entrees, beverages, fresh cut meats, dried dietary supplements, nutritional meal replacement products and dry powder blend ingredients. Her certifications include “Eco Lab Food Plant Sanitarian”, “SQF Practitioner” and current HACCP Train-the-Trainer certificates for Meat & Poultry as well as for FDA Seafood HACCP. Her training programs have in the past included several Provinces in China that sought her expertise to improve their Food Safety record, and she administered as PI a Homeland Security grant funding Food Defense/Food Protection Training for more than 40 food processors in New Jersey.

Donna wrote Food Safety/HACCP and facilitated the start-up of the first USDA inspected High Pressure Processing facility in Philadelphia, and has been instrumented in the creation and implementation of new Food Safety documentation for numerous other processing facilities.

Serving as a member of the FDA’s Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance, Donna helped to craft the training curriculum for the FDA’s new FSMA regulations. She is one of the only 21 people world-wide utilized by the FDA as a Trainer-of-Trainers for the Preventive Controls for Human Foods course, and currently holds “head Instructor” status for Preventive Controls for Human Food and Foreign Supplier Verification Program classes.

High Schools, Colleges or food-related industry groups looking for a speaker can contact Donna to inquire about scheduling availability. She can speak about Food Safety or Regulation Requirements related to HACCP, Preventative Controls, Foreign Supplier Verification Program, Supply Chair Requirements, International Adulteration & Food Fraud, Food Defense and Sanitary Transportation Rules.