A North Sea installation has been named as one of the healthiest places to eat in Scotland.
Nexen’s Scott platform has become the first offshore site in Scotland to receive a healthyliving award in recognition of the low-fat, low-salt foods which make up more than half of its restaurant menu.
Healthyliving awards were launched in 2006, with the aim of making it easier for people to choose nutritious options when they eat out.
The accolades, nowadays awarded by fledgling consumer group Consumer Focus Scotland, encourage a wide range of food outlets to prepare dishes using healthier ingredients and cooking methods.
Food on Nexen’s rig is produced by catering company Aramark, which employs 13 staff to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for the platform’s 170 shift workers.
The Aramark team faced the challenge of providing as wide a selection of healthy options as possible from stocks of fruit and vegetables delivered to the platform by boat every 10 days.
Fresh salads, grilled fish and wholewheat pastas are proving popular and heavy sauces have been replaced by light, olive-oil based dressings. Salt is used much more sparingly and alternatives to butter are used as often as possible. Traditional choices such as chips are still available, but are prepared in as healthy a manner as possible using sunflower oil.
Catering staff have been careful to present the new menu items in a way which emphasises the benefits of taste as much as health.
Neil Thomson, chef manager for Aramark at the Scott platform, said: “We’re really pleased and proud to be the first offshore site in Scotland to receive the healthyliving award.”
Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: “This shows there is an appetite among consumers for healthy, fresh produce on the menu and even in one of the most remote places it is possible to incorporate healthier food options into menus.
“A healthy, balanced diet is important to everyone’s wellbeing and especially for offshore workers who don’t have access to alternatives.”