Grilling in the summertime likely evokes fond memories. Parents standing by the grill in aprons, children playing in the grass alongside them — all laughing and having a pleasant afternoon.
But not all grilling experiences end with such joy. In fact, some incidents result in visits to the hospital as a result of wire bristle barbecue brushes.
Yes, adults and children alike are ingesting the pesky bristles that break off from these brushes when they’re used to clean grills. These bristles are evidently embedding themselves into food and in turn, people’s bodies. One study found U.S. emergency rooms reported more than 1,600 wire bristle grill brush injuries between 2002 and 2014.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention morbidity and mortality report from 2012 highlights the issue, citing cases from March 2011 to June 2012. “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 emergent surgery,” according to the report.