Millions of Americans will fire up the grill this holiday weekend. But what's important to always remember is that before you get cooking, it’s imperative to clear your grates. Stainless steel and wire grill brushes may be the best tool for getting the job done-- but did you know, if handled improperly, they can have dangerous consequences?
According to a newly released study from the University of Missouri's School of Medicine, injuries resulting from wire-bristle grill brushes resulted in over 1,600 trips to the emergency room from 2002 to 2014, based on data projections extrapolated from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).
“Loose bristles can fall off the brush during cleaning and end up in the grilled food, which, if consumed, can lead to injuries in the mouth, throat and tonsils,” says the review which was written to alert doctors-- but could also have wide reaching consumer effects.
Though relatively uncommon—the data indicated fewer than 134 people a year are injured by grill brush ingestion-- these incidents can result in serious damage to the mouth, esophagus, stomach or other internal organs.