The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings about the dangers of ingesting broken pieces of metal bristles from wire grill cleaning brushes.

Food on outdoor grill

Photo from Pixabay

As you prepare your outdoor grill for the last few barbecues of the season using a wire grill-cleaning brush that has seen a summer, or maybe several summers, of use, check to make sure the bristles are not breaking loose as you clean off the grilling surface. Although the number of instances reported to the CDC of people being injured from ingesting small pieces of wire bristles is very low, this is certainly a very preventable injury once people are made aware of the risk. Small pieces of broken bristles can stick to food cooked on the grill and then lodge in throats, stomachs and intestines after the food is eaten. People end up with mysterious abdominal pain. The cause of the problem is often difficult to diagnose due to the small size of the bristle pieces.

The best ways to avoid any problems with broken bristle pieces are to discard old grill-cleaning brushes that show signs of broken bristles and wipe off the grill before each use. After cleaning the grill with a wire brush, either wipe down the surface with a wet cloth or spray the surface lightly with cooking oil and wipe down with a paper towel. Look carefully at the grill surface to make sure it is free of anything that does not belong. Then fire up the grill and enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner.