Borough residents thinking of getting a tattoo or piercing can now find out the cleanest, safest places to go thanks to a new scheme.
Businesses offering tattoo or piercing services can request an official hygiene check, which will provide customers with the information they need before they make this permanent decision.
The programme, similar to the food hygiene ratings system which has been running for a number of years, aims to raise hygiene standards in the borough and help ensure members of the public are well informed when deciding which business to use. It also includes businesses that offer semi-permanent make-up.
When businesses apply, environmental health officers visit the firm to carry out checks, based on national guidelines for hygiene. The business is then given a rating from one to five depending on how well they score – with five being excellent and one requiring major improvement.
Councillor Cathryn Bayton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said:
Choosing to have a piercing or tattoo is a big decision, and people are entitled to know whether the studio they choose is clean, hygienic and reputable.
We know that people consider the cost and quality of artwork when they visit a tattoo studio, but are they also considering the state of hygiene on offer? Poor hygiene standards can lead to infection, scarring and illness.
This service gives customers peace of mind and also allows respectable studios to cement their reputation."
Businesses get a window sticker and a certificate to display to customers. Visits are made annually to ensure the information is up to date.
The scores for all businesses who’ve registered with the scheme can be found by visiting www.dudley.gov.uk and searching for ‘tattoos and piercings’.