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05.23.08

Stearns County bans body-piercing shows

Posted in Piercing News at 11:48 am by admin

County officials said that as entertainment in bars or restaurants, the activity is a health risk.

ST. CLOUD, MINN. – The Stearns County Board voted Tuesday to outlaw shows in bars and restaurants that feature extreme body piercing.

The board, after little debate, approved regulations prohibiting the type of show that has been staged at the Rox Nightclub, a popular bar in downtown St. Cloud. The show, which features a crew from Wingnut Tattoo & Piercing, involves people who are suspended from hooks that are implanted in their backs, as well as other forms of body modification.

In January, St. Cloud health officials notified the bar and the tattoo parlor that the show violates city regulations limiting tattooing and body piercing to licensed establishments. Sartell, a nearby city, passed a similar restriction earlier this month, partly in response to rumors that the piercing show might soon be staged there.

Don Adams, the county environmental services coordinator, said the ban was prompted by concerns about the potential spread of disease.

“Strictly from a public health perspective, we feel that these activities are not appropriate for food and beverage establishments,” he said.

In a letter to the County Board, county Public Health Director Renee Frauendienst said blood, saliva and other bodily fluids can carry such pathogens as hepatitis B and C and HIV.

Wingnut manager Ryan Schepp didn’t testify before the board Tuesday but had previously said Wingnut workers are trained in controlling blood-borne pathogens and handling blood spills.

The regulations — under the central Minnesota county’s food and beverage ordinance — ban “branding, cutting, implantation, suspensions, body piercing, tattooing or scarification” at bars and restaurants. The county could suspend the license of any business that violates the ban or shut it down if there is a public health risk.

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