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State to inspect reflexology, massage shops

Starting this month, massage and reflexology businesses will be inspected to identify unlicensed providers and other illegal practices.

The state legislature amended the massage law in 2012 to mandate licenses for reflexology (foot and hand massage) practitioners and authorized unannounced inspections of all massage businesses.

According to the new section in the law, investigators can inspect businesses “within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner.”

However, businesses can’t be shut down if violations are found. Possible violations could result in an investigation, which may lead to Washington Department of Health action and/or a referral to local authorities. Agency staff expects about 150 massage/reflexology business inspections a year.

Inspections should ensure businesses meet sanitation and hygiene standards and that employees are appropriately licensed. Reflexology was previously unregulated. Before the amendment to the massage law, investigators could only look into businesses after a complaint had been filed against the business or one of its employees.

For more information, call the customer service center at 360-236-4700.

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