Texas ends fish pedicures

October 9, 2008 3:44:00 AM PDT
One of the latest trends in foot massage has gone belly-up in Texas. The state banned fish pedicures due to health and safety concerns Wednesday, meaning salon customers can no longer enjoy the pleasure of hundreds of small fish nibbling away the dead skin from their feet.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation Spokeswoman Susan Stanford said the agency was concerned about salons using the same fish to clean the skin of multiple customers, leaving them open to possible infections. She also said the foot baths and holding tanks, because they're home to live fish, cannot always be properly cleaned and disinfected.

Stanford said that she knew of no cases of anyone getting sick from a fish pedicure.

"It is in the realm of possibilities," Stanford said in Wednesday's online edition of The Dallas Morning News. "We are erring on the side of safety."

The fad caught on after a Virginia salon began offering it.

The co-owner of Zen Luxury Nail & Beauty Bar, located in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, said she was disappointed to learn she could no longer offer the service.

Now she's not sure what to do with the 500 guppy-like fish she bought for $2,500.

"I guess we will either keep them as pets, or send them back," she said.

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