ONE of the owners of a fish pedicure business in Kirkcaldy has refuted claims in a national newspaper that the popular treatment could spread dangerous diseases such as hepatitis C.
Sandra McLeod, one of the partners who runs Footabulous in Commercial Street, believes some customers have been put off using her fish pedicures as a direct result of the damning article which was published last month.
But Sandra told the Press there is no truth to the allegations made in the report which claims the Garra Rufa fish could transmit HIV and other infections.
She blasted the article as “scaremongering”, adding: “We would like to reassure our clients that our fish spa has the highest standard of equipment and we follow all the safety advice set down by the Health Protection Agency.
“We make sure people wash their feet before they use our tanks and we carry out a foot inspection and get the customer to fill in a consultation to make sure there is no infection.
“Anyone who has cuts, grazes, open wounds, recent scarring, verrucas or fungal nail infections are not allowed to enter the tanks.
“The risk of transmitting HIV is virtually impossible. The infection can’t survive outside the body.
“You would have to be bleeding profusely in the tank and then have someone use it after you who has an open wound and we would not allow this to happen.”
She continued: “Each individual tank has its own UVA system which kills 99.99 per cent of any germs.
“Our tanks also have their own individual filtration and sterilisation unit which filters and sterilises every 10 minutes. A minimum treatment is 15 minutes.
“We also rotate the use of our tanks and carry out daily water changes to each tank and carry out extensive water tests on each tank.
“Our waters are safe and we will undertake any testing from our clients to prove it.”
Sandra added: “We want to reassure people we are taking all the proper safety precautions and we have followed the guidelines laid down by the Health Protection Agency. We don’t want our customers to be put off by alarmist headlines which are completely false.”