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Launch of Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme

Lancaster City Council has launched a new scheme to help keep local people safe when getting a tattoo.

The Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS) is a voluntary scheme aimed at improving standards of tattooists and allowing the public to choose a tattooist who meets high standards of hygiene.

The council is encouraging as many local tattoo businesses as possible to sign up to the voluntary scheme to promote good practice and give customers confidence in the services provided.

Tattoo studios that join will be given a rating between one and four.  A rating of four is very good, three is good, two is satisfactory and one means that improvement is needed.

The rating will be given by the council’s environmental health team following an inspection of the business and checking if it meets a number of standards. 

These include:

•       Cleanliness of the premises and equipment

•       Sterilisation of needles, equipment and materials to avoid the risk of infection and transmission of infectious diseases

•       Customer age checks

•       Staff training, vaccinations and health screening

•       Quality of aftercare advice

•       Recognised trade body membership

Every tattooist that is part of the scheme receives a certificate to promote their rating.

The scheme also gives people the opportunity to report unregistered businesses who might be operating unlawfully in the area.

Unregistered tattooists, who may also be classed as ‘scratchers’ will not have been licensed or inspected by their local authority and often have poor cleaning standards and poor infection controls.

Councillor Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health and enforcement, said:  “Good hygiene and training is absolutely vital in running a high quality, safe and reputable tattoo business. The new rating scheme will enable customers to factor hygiene standards and professionalism into making a well informed choice of tattoo parlour. 

“The new scheme aims to help keep people safe, drive up standards across the industry locally and send a clear message that unregistered and unsafe practices will not be tolerated.” 

“Eleven Studios have signed up to the scheme so far, and we hope that others will join them and use the scheme as a way of promoting their business as being one people will feel safe to use.”

Premises under the scheme will be inspected regularly to ensure they maintain high standards.  Where poor standards are found they will be given a lower rating and issued with a new certificate.

Customers can check the ratings of participating tattoo businesses by visiting the council’s website –  

You can also report an unregistered tattooist to the council via this link.

Last updated: 20 September 2022

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