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It's Grilling Time... FYI, Your Grill Brush Could Cause Some Serious Medical Issues!

Updated: Mar 18, 2023

Yep, I saw the horror story of an ER doc that has been circulating on TikTok.

I wanted to share this to ensure we DV folks don't fall victim to this; something like this could severely affect sufferers of DV.

If you haven't seen it, In a recent TikTok video that has garnered millions of views, an ER doc sounded the alarm about the dangers of using wire grill brushes to clean grill grates. The warning came after a pediatric emergency medicine doctor, @Beachgem10, shared a distressing case of a four-year-old boy who had ingested a metal wire from a grill brush while eating a hamburger at a barbecue. The child had complained of ear pain and after a few trips to the doctor/ER, no one could figure out what it was. Finally, after undergoing a CAT scan, the boy was found to have a piece of wire lodged in his peritonsillar tissues. This incident highlights the potentially life-threatening consequences of using wire grill brushes, which can cause bowel obstructions and perforations or get lodged in the throat.

@Beachgem10 advised viewers not to use wire grill brushes and encouraged awareness among manufacturers and retailers to decrease the likelihood of further occurrences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued a warning about the dangers of wire bristles in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report dating back to 2012.

A study published in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery reported that an estimated 1,700 Americans visited the emergency room between 2002 and 2014 after ingesting wire bristles in grilled food.

According to medical professionals, if a wire bristle enters your intestines, there is a risk that its sharp end could puncture the intestinal wall. This could lead to severe abdominal pain requiring immediate emergency room attention. However, the chances of death can be reduced if medical attention is sought early.

Symptoms of ingesting a wire bristle include experiencing new pain, feeling lethargic, light-headed, dizzy, or dehydrated. If you suspect you may have ingested a wire bristle, examine the brush for missing bristles, monitor your physical condition, and seek medical attention if you feel unwell.

There are alternative ways to clean grill grates without using wire brushes. Many people suggest using balled-up aluminum foil, which can be crumpled into a ball and used with tongs to wipe up any residue while the grates are still hot. It's a cheap alternative, I tried it and it was a little frustrating. The foil ball kept coming out of the tongs, and it doesn't really get in the crevices/between grates. It is important to prioritize safety when grilling and to take precautions to avoid ingesting dangerous bristles. Since I learned about this a few years ago, I now use wire-free grill cleaning tools.

Here are some metal-free ones you can try out; I use the third one.

Check out other informative posts at Viva Gastro!

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