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Do you use a wire brush to clean your grill? If so, you should be aware that wire grill brushes can be very dangerous. These popular grilling tools have led to thousands of emergency room visits in recent years. The bristles of a wire brush can easily fall off and get left behind on the grill, only to later become cooked into food and unintentionally ingested. This is not only painful, but it can lead to severe consequences, as the wire bristles can puncture parts of your digestive system.
Although experts have been warning families about grill brushes for a while, most people still don’t realize how dangerous these tools can be.
Such was the case for the Kuchik family in Alberta, Canada. Shortly after enjoying barbecue chicken for dinner, 4-year-old Ollie Kuchik began complaining of pain in his throat. His parents became concerned that he may have ingested a bristle from their wire grill brush and, sure enough, when they checked their leftover chicken, they found that there were indeed pieces of chicken that had bristles cooked inside.
Horrified, they rushed to the hospital. In a Facebook post that has since been shared over 1,185 times, mom Jenna explains that an X-ray at the hospital revealed that her son Ollie had a grill bristle lodged in his throat. He was immediately transferred to the Stollery Children’s Hospital, where two wire bristles were removed from the young child’s throat.
How frightening! But here is the silver lining: By sharing this message with the world, mom Jenna is helping to prevent other families from ever having to endure such a terrifying experience.
This is not the first time the bristle from a wire brush has caused serious health complications. There have been many other cases of people requiring surgery after accidentally ingesting a bristle(s) from a grill brush and, if left untreated, these bristles can even cause death. CBS News reports, “Just one of the coarse wire bristles can puncture any part of the digestive system—esophagus, intestines or stomach—as it makes its way down the tract. The consequences can range from sharp pains to major punctures that could cause death.”
For this reason, experts say that using a wire grill brush is a needless risk, and they recommend other items like a grill cleaning brick. You can also use aluminum foil or a nylon brush. And make sure you wipe down your grill with a soft cloth and examine it closely before you light it and start cooking.
If you have recently been to a barbecue and are having abdominal pain that does not go away, or if the pain is severe, do not ignore these symptoms. Seek medical assistance right away…and remember, toss those wire brushes!
[h/t: Country Living]