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Safety of fish pedicures to be investigated

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The practice of using toothless Garra rufa fish to perform pedicures at spas is to be probed by the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) and environmental health officers.

The treatment has become popular in the UK and a number of operators, such as London-based Aqua Sheko and Appyfeet, base their entire business model on the Garra rufa treatments.

An HPA spokesperson told Spa Opportunities that the agency was looking into the matter following queries from health officers around the UK.

"Following a number of enquiries to the HPA from local environmental health officers over the past six months, the agency is currently investigating if there are any potential risks of infection associated with the commercial use of fish spa pedicures in the UK," she added.

"Alongside colleagues in environmental health, Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Laboratory, the HPA will examine the most up to date evidence of any possible risks associated with Garra rufa fish pedicures and will publish guidelines that will be available UK-wide.

"The HPA and Health Protection Scotland is currently unaware of any cases of infection associated with the use of the fish spas pedicures in the UK."

Originating from Asia, the Garra rufa treatments are banned in a number of US states, including Florida, Texas, New Hampshire and Washington.

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The practice of using toothless Garra rufa fish to perform pedicures at spas is to be probed by the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) and environmental health officers.
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