Canadian and American surgeons alike are trying to convince everyone to throw away any BBQ brushes with metal wires. It turns out that the metal from the bristles can easily get stuck in people’s throats and stomachs, and there’s no easy way to remove the foreign objects, short of surgery. Not only is this scary to think about and potentially very painful, but it could also be deadly.
The problem with the bristles on a wire brush is that they are very difficult to see. This is an issue because it’s difficult to detect any bristles that may have gotten into food that’s about to be ingested. A woman from Nova Scotia recently ate a burger that had a small bristle in the food, and she quickly began to feel the pain of ingesting the wire.
Lisa Wadden said that with “every swallow, it just was this crazy pain, burning. It was like I was being poked again with it every single time that I swallowed.” She explained that there was nothing that she could have done to have prevented the painful situation, nor could she do anything about it after she ingested the bristle.
Doctors are now trying to urge people to simply stop this preventable problem. If people discontinued use of wire cleaners on their grills, then this summertime epidemic could be eradicated.
One man who swallowed a bristle was actually on the brink of death, due to the fact that the metal object was lodged dangerously close to his kidneys. If the bristle had struck any of his organs or his large intestines, he could have come quite close to dying.
The man, Kevin Gallant, stated that “the barbecue brush bristle had started to move, so it was trying to come through the wall of my small intestine. So I was told I was very fortunate that they found it, because it would have just pierced through the small intestine into one of my major organs until it found a spot that it would have just killed me.”
So what is to do be done now? What is the alternative way of cleaning a BBQ other than using something that might end up killing you?
Surgeons are advising people to use something large enough that it would not get caught in your food undetected. Try using a crumpled-up piece of aluminum foil instead. Foil is hard enough to scrape off any burnt materials, but not so small that it could become trapped in food.
If you prefer not to use anything at all, try simply burning the charcoal for a little longer to char off any of the unwanted food residue. This will also disinfect your grill so that no germs remain behind.