The Overlooked Grilling Danger

As cookout season dawns, you probably know about the usual safety issues – careful use of propane or charcoal, keeping children away from the intense heat of the grill, itself, etc.

But there is one more factor you may have overlooked all these years -- you need to take a close look at your grill brush. Doctors are warning about rare but serious injuries tied to your cleaning tools.

Researchers estimated how many Americans are injured by ingesting wire bristles from grill brushes – yes, that is actually a thing. These injuries happen when bristles from the cleaning tools come loose, stick to the grill and end up in the grilled food.

You may be surprised to find that between 2002 and 2014, nearly 1,700 Americans visited the emergency room for injuries related to ingesting grill brush bristles. As you can imagine, injuries to the mouth, throat and tonsils were most common, but some people suffered injuries to the stomach or intestines as the wires made their way through digestive systems.

Of course, the majority of these injuries occurred in June, July and August. Most patients were treated in the emergency room, but some required surgery. So the bottom line: Be cautious when using wire-bristle brushes, check the brushes before each use, and throw away brushes that have loose bristles.

Sourced from: Live Science, Grilling Danger: Wire Brushes Cause Injuries, Doctors Warn