Wire Grill Brush Bristles Continue to Pose Safety HazardNovember 19, 2014 — MedPage Today has published a case report of a 55 year-old woman who needed surgery after accidentally ingesting a wire bristle on a grill brush during a backyard BBQ with her family.

She visited the emergency room complaining of sharp pain on the left side of her abdomen. Her abdomen was distended, laboratory tests showed high white blood cell count, and a CT scan showed a 7-mm object in her abdomen. Doctors were able to remove the wire brush bristle with forceps.

Since July 2012, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has been investigating case reports involving ingestion of wire grill-cleaning brush bristles. The most common symptoms were severe pain on swallowing or severe abdominal pain.

Case reports have also been linked to commercial food, including one man who needed surgery after eating a slice of Domino’s Pizza that contained a wire. The health department investigated and found that a wire brush used to clean oven racks had evidence of wear.

Safety recommendations:

Risk: Wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes may dislodge and stick into food on the grill.

Tip: Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking.

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