Now that the grilling season has officially kicked off, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) put out a warning based on reports of people injured due to swallowing broken bristles from wire grill-cleaning brushes. Apparently, the bristles can break off when cleaning the grill, stick to the grill and then stick to burgers, steaks and other meats.
In the past year, there have been 6 wire grill cleaning injuries where the victims went to the hospital. Recent cases have been reported in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to the CDC report, “the severity of injury ranged from puncture of the soft tissues of the neck, causing severe pain on swallowing, to perforation of the gastrointestinal tract requiring emergency surgery.” Three of the victims had the bristles stuck in their throat. Three others had the bristles found in their intestines. There may have been more unreported injuries where victims who ingested wires did not go to the hospital.
Take caution when cleaning your grill with a wire cleaner. Before cooking, make sure there are no bristles on your grill that could potentially end up in your food.
No particular brand has been named as most likely to shed bristles. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is now studying data regarding these injuries in order to investigate whether some brushes are more hazardous than others.
Source – Food Safety News