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Donald W. Schaffner, Ph. D.

Donald W. Schaffner, Ph. D.

Department Chair
Distinguished Professor
Extension Specialist
65 Dudley RD
(848) 932-5411
(732) 932-6776


Dr. Donald W. Schaffner is the Department Chair, a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, and Extension Specialist in Food Science. His research interests include quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive food microbiology, handwashing and cross-contamination. Dr. Schaffner has authored more than 190 peer-reviewed publications, and numerous book chapters and abstracts. He has been the recipient of more than $9 million in grants and contracts, a majority in the form of competitive national grants.

Dr. Schaffner has educated thousands of Food Industry professionals through numerous short courses and workshops in the United States and dozens of countries around the world. Dr. Schaffner was awarded the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Elmer Marth Educator Award in 2009 for outstanding service to the public and IAFP in the area food safety and food protection education. He was also awarded the IAFP Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award in 2020 for outstanding contributions in the laboratory, recognizing a commitment to the development of innovative and practical analytical approaches in support of food safety.

Dr. Schaffner has served on a variety of expert committees, including service to US National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and US National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods (NACMCF).

Dr. Schaffner is active in IAFP, IFT, the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). Dr. Schaffner was elected a Fellow of IFT in 2010, of the American Academy for Microbiology in 2014 and of the International Association for Food Protection in 2017. He served as an Editor for the ASM journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology from 2005 to 2020. He began serving as a Contributing Editor for the journal Food Microbiology and as Associate Editor for Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety in 2020.

Dr. Schaffner was elected the Secretary of the IAFP in 2010, a five-year commitment including service as President of the organization in 2013-2014.

He is the co-host of a podcast on microbial food safety called Food Safety Talk at, and another short podcast on risk called Risky or Not available app

Since the start of the pandemic he has been interviewed for TV and print media (including New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal) on SARS-CoV-2 and the risks of COVID-19.

He holds a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia.