Living a full life at home and work

July 6, 2016 - Campbell River, B.C.

Jean Veale

For Jean Veale, Food Safety Assurance Technician, the pride in her job is obvious. “Food safety at Marine Harvest matters a whole lot. We sell a food product and there must be confidence in its quality,” Jean says. 
She’s responsible for a variety of duties all related to food safety. Once a year all customers, whether they’re in Canada, the US or overseas, are sent letters of assurance that the fish they purchase is produced by a company that it is federally registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and compliant with all HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point) regulations. 
In addition, the food safety team is always looking at what could become an issue. “A lot of thought goes into providing as much information as possible. It’s accuracy above all,” Jean says.
A case in point was the radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan following their earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The company proactively tested for radiation in its finished product. 
“People were concerned and we were able to respond to that issue immediately,” Jean says. “We provided customers the confidence that the event had not affected our salmon and that all product was safe.”
The company’s processing plants in Port Hardy and Klemtu are certified by both CFIA and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP). Each facility must be audited by an internal team each year to ensure compliance prior to audits, and Jean is involved in this process. 
Jean was born in Orillia, Ontario and lived in Quebec, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Ontario as her father was in the military. She began and ended her education in Nova Scotia and has two brothers and sisters. Following grade 12, Jean relocated to B.C. (her parents are from here) and eventually settled in the Comox Valley with her husband Keith. The couple has a son and daughter, both in their 30s. Jean’s pride and joy are her four grandchildren, ranging in age from 1 month to 21 years old.
“My first roommate and I are still best friends after 41 years,” Jean says. 
It was while she and Keith owned a snack bar in the Comox Mall that she met a former Marine Harvest employee in 1999 which led to Jean joining the company as a receptionist that same year. 
Away from the office, Jean is an avid gardener who is proud to be growing garlic for the first time, a quilter, and a bookworm. “My mom got me into a quilting course and I haven’t looked back. My current project is a queen sized ‘log cabin’ design that is a challenge to create.” 
Last but certainly not least: Jean and Keith have a shitzu/terrier cross named Duster. 
“My life is full, at home and at work,” enthuses Jean.

By Gina Forsyth