Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This Headline May Sound Made-Up...

...but it's real, I swear:

Texas Pulls the Plug on Fish Pedicures.

(As Dave Barry might say, "Fish Pedicures" would be a good name for a rock band.)

So let's get past one part: The pedicures are not for the fish, who--last time I checked--don't even have toes.

But not in Texas anymore; the state's Department of Licensing and Regulation really did shut down the practice.

Why? Well, it sounds like typical nanny-statism on the surface:
Spokeswoman Susan Stanford said the licensing agency has health and safety concerns related to the practice of using the same fish to clean the skin of multiple customers. The worry is that the practice could transmit infections. She also said the foot baths and holding tanks, because they're home to live fish, cannot always be properly cleaned and disinfected.

Ms. Stanford added, however, that she knew of no cases of anyone getting sick from a fish pedicure.

“It is in the realm of possibilities,” she said. “We are erring on the side of safety.”
Hmm. So what would they do to keep it clean--disinfect the fish between customers?

Well, actually...Kate Caldwell, co-owner of Zen Luxury Nails in Frisco, one of the places that had been offering fish pedicures, said that...
...her salon had a rigorous safety protocol to avoid putting customers at risk. After each pedicure, she said, the foot basins were emptied and cleaned with a disinfectant. During that cleaning, she said, the fish were transferred to a "hospital tank,” where they were treated with an anti-microbial agent and isolated for at least a day.
Well, there you have it. So did the state err too much on the side of caution here, or was this the correct response? And do you know anyone who's adventurous (or weird) enough to get one of these? Would you get one yourself (if it were legalized again)?

You can watch a video of someone getting a fish pedicure here, and a DMN reporter chronicles her experience with the procedure here.

You can "bet" there's fraud going on here: A group in Nevada that is suspected of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms had their records seized by authorities yesterday. Among the records are the names of the entire starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

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