Grill Brush - ©

MDs Bristling Over BBQ Brushes

With the BBQing season in full swing as of this weekend, doctors are reminding us all to take care when cleaning the grill – especially when we use wire brushes to banish the gunk. Seems that, every year, broken-off bristles from grill-cleaning brushes send a fair number of people to hospital…

Bristle in Abdomen - © Dr. David GrandArrow points to a piece of a broken BBQ grill cleaning brush bristle which perforated
the victim’s intestine and escaped into the abdominal cavity.

I came across a timely Yahoo! post on this topic earlier this morning and I wondered aloud to myself, “Why have I not been aware of this issue before now?” You could die from gastrointestinal perforations. According to those who’ve suffered this affliction, the pain is unique and intense. So why have the appropriate authorities not made a greater efforts to raise public awareness?

Turns out the authorities have raised flags, but it appears that the media, whom officials count on to disseminate important health and safety information, dropped the ball.

In fact, the U.S. Centers fort Disease Control and Prevention issued a detailed advisory about grill brush bristles back in 2012, following reports from a Rhode Island Hospital of no fewer than 6 cases of bristle ingestion between mid 2011 and mid 2012.

But I scour the newspapers and the Net for food-related stories every day of the year and and even I missed this one the first time around. Mea culpa.

There. I’ve done my penance. The rest of you are on your own..

~ Maggie J.