An ex-artist of a popular tattoo studio has claimed bags of clinical waste were left to pile up in storage cupboards at the site.
Tattoo artist Kali left her position at Glasgow’s Rock and Roll Tattoo and Piercing studio after eight months, as the emergence of numerous flies led to the discovery of large piles of bin bags in a cupboard next to her station, she said.
STV News has obtained photographs which appear to show overflowing bags left in the premises, which are said to contain wipes and papers that have been used to clean blood from needles used on clients.
A spokesperson for Rock and Roll Tattoo told STV News that it takes hygiene very seriously and the photos were taken by management over several years dating back to 2019 to “share with environmental health to assist with collection”.
The tattoo chain has premises across the UK including in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and London.
The tattooist slammed the studio’s practices on social media and warned any potential customers to avoid the parlour.
Kali told STV News: “One day I saw flies coming out from this cupboard. I never understood why.
“Gradually more and more flies were appearing, that even my customers were asking ‘what is with these flies’?
“I never checked this out. One day I opened the storage cupboard, and saw bags and bags of disposable waste just stockpiled.
“It had to be at least two months’ worth.
“I asked why this is here, and was just told ‘we don’t have the money right now, it will be kept here in the cupboard until we do’.
“Basically, these bags are full of wipes and papers that are used for cleaning blood from the needles and razors that we use on clients.
“It could cause serious illness.”
Upon making the discovery, Kali left her role at the studio – but she now claims that she is owed money from the company.
The tattooist claims that staff were “abused” and that customers and staff have been “stolen from” and refused refunds.
She added: “I noticed that a lot of experienced artists were leaving, this is when I got scared.
“I asked why they were leaving, and I was basically just told they found another studio.
“But it turned out they weren’t getting paid. I am now owed money after I left, at least £1,000.
“When I ask about it, I just keep getting told it’ll get paid tomorrow but it never comes.
“There are many others, with one artist owed over £6,000.
“I think that’s just as important as the waste.”
Glasgow City Council has confirmed that they visited the premises last night following a viral social media post about the studio and the area was clear.
A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Environmental Health visited the premises and interviewed the owner yesterday (Tues) in response to complaints about waste storage.
“Our officers confirmed that the owner has a waste disposal contract in place and the storage area was clear.”
Rock and Roll Tattoo Studios told STV News that the welfare of customers and staff was of the utmost importance.
A spokeswoman said: “Across all of our six award-winning studios throughout the UK, we take hygiene very seriously and our customers and staff’s welfare is of the most importance to us.
“We are deeply saddened that an ex employee, following our parting of ways, has come forward with a number of images, which were in fact taken by management over a period of years in a bid to keep standards high and to share with environmental health to assist with collection.”
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