BBQ safety warning: Bristles from cleaning brush can end up lodged in throat

Photo Credit: CTV News

Before your next BBQ, you should inspect your grill for any left over metal brush bristles after using the blush to clean the surface of your grill. These pointy metallic bits that fall off the brush could remain on the grill where they stick to your BBQ steak. And the scary part is that bristles from cleaning brushes can end up lodged in your throat can cause internal damage.

That scenario happened to Tania Di Mauro, where CTV News reported that the metallic bristle damaged her physically and psychologically. Di Mauro will have at least 3 operations to get rid of the bristles lodged in her throat.

Di Mauro's case is not an isolated incident. Reports from Seattle and Washington confirm similar cases where wire bristles ended up being ingested and damaging the internal organs.

To avoid these accidents, always inspect your grill brush before use to see whether it is in bad condition. Signs of bad conditions are worn out bristles, split heads, or if it simply looks like an old piece of equipment. You can test its durability by trying to pull the bristles as if you are pulling grass out of your lawn. If the bristles come off, then replace the brush.

Of course, you could also use alternatives to metallic wire grill brushes. For example, you can opt for wooden grill scrapers. Metal scrapers may damage the grill, but wooden ones do not. However they wear out easily, and you will need to occasionally coat it to preserve the wooden end of the scraper. Another alternative is using stones or cleaning blocks. There are no bristles here, and these rough blocks will get the cleaning job done adequately. Both the wooden scrapers and cleaning blocks if used consistently will conform the to pattern and geometry of the grill, which makes cleaning easier and easier.

Or you could buy brushes that are non-metallic, for example nylon brushes. The only down-side is that you cannot clean your grill while its hot, and must wait for it to cool down. But I would take this inconvenience over a metal bristle in my throat any day. In conclusion, if you want to continue using your metal brush, then always inspect it before use and replace when necessary. Or, you can replace it with any of the adequate alternatives for cleaning your grill.

To read Di Mauro's bristle nightmare and recovery, head over to CTV News website.

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