Alberta Health Services (AHS) has issued a body piercing warning related to work done at a northeast shop more than a month ago.
AHS has issued an advisory for clients who received piercings from a company called Name Sake Tattoo and Piercing (103, 2640 52 Street NE in Calgary) between April 15, and May 1, 2023, to arrange to be tested for Hepatitis B after unsanitary piercing procedures were discovered.
The advisory surfaced after a complaint was made to AHS Environmental Public Health, who then conducted an inspection of the business. The inspection determined that proper protocol and sterilization of body piercing equipment was not being followed. From this, an order closure was issued to Little Witch Tattoo on April 29, 2023.
“As the Little Witch Tattoo studio did not fully adhere to these sterilization processes, individuals who received piercing services through this operation may have been exposed to hepatitis B virus,” said Dr. Franco Rizzuti, Medical Officer of Health, Calgary Zone, AHS.
To date, there have not been any positive cases of Hepatitis B resulting from body piercings at this location, AHS said. While the risk of clients contracting Hepatitis B, in this case, is considered low, AHS is still advising clients to seek follow-up testing as a precautionary move to ensure the health and safety of these clients.
All clients who received body piercings between April 15, and May 1, 2023, from this location are urged to call their physician to arrange for testing. Health Link at 811 is also available for those potentially affected on a 24/7 basis to arrange for testing or to answer any questions or concerns.
The operator of Little Witch Tattoo was unable to provide AHS with a comprehensive client list of those who may have been affected. For this reason, AHS sent a media advisory as a way to best inform the public. Only clients that received body piercing services during this timeframe require testing.
After providing training on proper sterilization and sanitary practices for performing body piercings to the owner and operator of Little Witch Tattoo, AHS lifted the closure as of June 14, 2023.
“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used for body piercing must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to specific health standards,” said Rizzuti.
If you or someone you know has safety or health concerns related to body piercings or tattoos, AHS urges you to contact Environmental Public Health.