Top marks for Swale tattoo artist

The Pearl tattoo studio has become the first to receive a top score under Swale Council’s new tattoo hygiene rating system.

The studio on Sheerness High Street received the top score of 4 after an inspection by officers from the council’s food and safety team.

The tattoo hygiene rating scheme works in a similar way to food hygiene ratings. Tattooists who sign up will receive an annual inspection, followed by a score of between one (needs improvement) and four (very good) that reflects their levels of cleanliness and hygiene.

The rating means that tattooist Liam Wilkinson, who runs The Pearl, will also receive a certificate and window sticker to display to show customers he has met the top standard.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environmental and rural affairs at the council, said:

“I’d like to congratulate Liam on becoming the first of what I hope will be many tattoo artists in the borough who has received the highest rating.

“The ratings can give people the confidence that artists are well-trained and running a clean, safe business.

“This not only helps give people the information they need to make an informed choice about whether or not to use a tattoo studio, but also encourages artists to improve standards.”

On receiving the very good rating Liam said:

“Being part of the tattoo hygiene rating scheme allows our clients to see that here at The Pearl tattoo studio we follow stringent guidelines to ensure the highest levels of cleanliness and health and safety are carried out.

“It also highlights to the public how important a safe tattooing environment is, and the issues and dangers of using unregistered home tattooists.”

All registered tattooists and semi-permanent makeup artists can sign up to this new tattoo hygiene rating scheme to promote how clean and hygienic their business is.

The scheme is voluntary, but gives good hygienic businesses the chance to show this to their customers, and demonstrates to the public that the tattooist they have chosen is well trained and knowledgeable.

There are around 16 registered businesses in the borough offering tattooing or semi- permanent make-up (a form of tattooing), and the council has written to all of them to encourage them to sign up.

The council strongly urges anyone thinking of getting a tattoo to visit a registered tattooist rather than an unregistered ‘scratcher’. If you are not sure if a tattooist is registered, you can find out by calling 01795 417386.

The tattoo hygiene rating scheme is being run by district councils across Kent and is supported by the Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union and the Chartered Institute of Envi

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