Officials step up pedicure hygiene procedures |

Officials step up pedicure hygiene procedures

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune SUE TO PROVIDE INFO.

As visitors and locals get spiffy over the holidays, California’s Consumer Affairs division would like to toe the line on pedicure infections.

In response to a recent outbreak of bacterial infections picked up from whirlpool foot baths at San Jose shops, the state reminded nail salons to disinfect their tubs after each customer. It also mandates a thorough, end-of-day cleaning that includes a 10-minute system circulation.

The board is mailing out 37,000 letters to its salon licensees throughout the state outlining proper cleaning procedures. The letters are written in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

In many cases, the customers shaved their legs, and nicks and cuts opened the gateways of infection if the tubs had not been cleaned properly.

The state recommends the operator change the water and use a bleach solution to sanitize the tub.

That’s a common practice among South Lake Tahoe salons.

“Everybody has to be aware. People’s feet can be nasty,” said Sandy Pape, owner of The Shoppe. “If you don’t do that, someone could come in with a foot fungus and spread it.”

Pape’s salon uses a soaking solution from Cuccio Naturals called “Sea Fizz.”

Along with Pape, Sessions nail shop manager Erin Epperson thinks the foot-wide buckets are easier to clean than the bulky chairs usually associated with the shops with cleanliness problems. Some customers had lesions on their legs.

“When I first heard about it, I thought it was awful,” Epperson said. “And due to the concerns, we have chosen not to have the chairs.”

Sessions has fielded a number of inquiries from people who said they’ve heard about the reports from the Bay Area where three salons have been cited. No other reports were made.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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