Metal grill brushes hospitalize two, safety experts warn

Posted on May 22, 2012

After two men were hospitalized in unrelated incidents, safety experts are warning summertime grill chefs to exercise caution when using a metal bristled grill cleaning brush. Recently a man in New Jersey, and another man in Washington state were taken to medical centers for treatment after complaining of stomach pain. In both cases, medical professionals determined the stomach pain was caused by metal bristles the men had accidentally ingested. They speculated that the bristles became stuck to the grills during the cleaning process then became attached to the cooking meat. In both cases, the men were required to undergo a surgical procedure due to the damage the bristles caused to their intestines. Brushes with metal bristles aren’t recommended for use on certain types of barbecue grills. Grills with porcelain covered cast iron grates, for example, can be damaged by metal bristled brushes. Uncoated cast iron is best cleaned with a steel bristled brush, not a brass one. If your grill cleaning brush is losing bristles, discard it immediately and begin using a new one. Inspect your grill’s gas lines, tubes and grease trap for clogging or excess grease, which can cause a fire hazard. Replace any damaged or broken components and check hoses and tubing for cracks and leaks. Gas leaks can be spotted by spraying a mixture of water and dish soap onto hoses and looking for bubbles after turning on the gas (do not light the burners).

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