Before you go to clean he grill before your next cookout, keep this horrifying news in mind.
Doctors warn that using wire bristle brushes could be hazardous to your health. The risk: The brush’s wire bristles can break off, remain on the grill grate and end up in the food you’re cooking. Then, once you eat it, they could potentially lodge in your stomach or intestines and cause major damage.
Two days after Cheryl Harrison ate a hamburger while grilling out a home, she felt sharp pains and was rushed to the hospital. “It was just a pain that I have never felt before,” Harrison, who lives in Connecticut, told the local news station. “I felt my stomach was bloated… extremely tender to the touch.”
A CT scan showed a foreign object and she had to undergo emergency surgery to remove an inch-long piece of metal from her intestine. Her husband had cleaned their grill with a wire brush before cooking, and Harrison had unknowingly ingested a bristle in her burger.
Unfortunately, her situation isn’t uncommon. Last summer, a Connecticut girl named Anna Dunn had surgery to remove a wire from her throat after eating a hot dog at a picnic.
But fear not, there are alternatives to a wire brush: “We recommend using coil brushes that do not have bristles, like the ones available from Brushtec,” says Sharon Franke, director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute. She adds that crumpled aluminum foil is also a great option to scrubbing grill grates clean. Seriously. And if you’d like to give it an extra deep-clean, Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser has topped our Good Housekeeping Institute tests.
Better safe than sorry, we think.