Fish spa: ‘We’re not gill-ty’

Lynn News reporter Amy Collet has a Garra Rufa fish pedicure at the Tanning Salon, Lynn.
Lynn News reporter Amy Collet has a Garra Rufa fish pedicure at the Tanning Salon, Lynn.

A foot spa that uses tiny fish to feed on dead skin will remain shut for several weeks as tests are carried out on cleaning equipment.

But the Dr Spafish store in the Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead is keen to point out that its unique cleaning system meets all official government hygiene standards, and the tests are to ensure the company is 100 per cent happy with its findings.

The news comes in the wake of national headlines over the hygiene concerns linked to the trendy treatment, following fears that infections such as HIV and hepatitis C could be transmitted.

Michael Burke, a health and safety expert with Dr Spafish, worked closely with officials from the Health Protection Agency to make sure standards are high.

He said: “We have written procedures that cover inspection of clients’ feet to minimise any source of potential infection.

“Together with our disposable towel system and our bespoke filtration, designed specifically for commercial fish spa use, we are confident that the public are protected.

“If anyone has a doubt as to whether their local fish spa is safe, I strongly recommend they contact their local health and safety officer and check that the business has been approved.”

He said that the tests were being carried out now as the store opened just over six months ago and it was decided now was a good milestone to conduct the tests. It is hoped the store will reopen in two or three weeks after tests have been completed.

A unique system used by Dr Spafish keeps water circulating through a series of filters.

Dr Hilary Kirkbride from the HPA said: “Provided that good standards of hygiene are followed by salons, members of the public are unlikely to get an infection from a fish spa pedicure.”