Investigation into fish pedicure craze

THE LATEST beauty craze to hit Crawley is under investigation over fears it could spread disease.

Fish spa pedicures involve people allowing Garra rufa fish to eat dead skin from their feet. But concerns have been raised that infections could be spread through open wounds.

The Dr SpaFish franchise opened at County Mall last month but the predicure treatment they provide is now under investigation by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

Dr SpaFish insisted it prides itself on the highest levels of health and hygiene standards.

A spokesperson said: “Customer’s feet are washed and examined prior to treatment by our experienced staff and any person with foot health issues is not permitted to go ahead with the fish pedicure.

“Dr Spafish’s unique 11 stage filtration system cleanses the water between each treatment and ensures it is completely germ free, without any harm to the fish.

Managing director Bradly Carter said: “Dr Spafish has never had a complaint connected to this subject.”

An HPA spokesperson said: “Following a number of enquiries from local environmental health officers the HPA is investigating if there are any potential risks of infection associated with the commercial use of fish spa pedicures in the UK. 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 is currently unaware of any cases of infection associated with the use of the fish spas pedicures in the UK.”

Neil Carter, general manager of County Mall said: “All tenants within County Mall are expected to abide by current legislation. Should any new legislation be introduced we will expect all tenants to comply.”