5 On Your Side

Watch out for loose grill brush bristles; eating them is dangerous

Posted May 31, 2012

grill brush

Reports of people ingesting the bristles from grill brushes has prompted a New York senator to ask the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a safety review of the brushes.

When metal grill cleaning brushes get worn out, the bristles come loose, which means they could end up on your grill and whatever food you throw on it. 

In two recent incidents, men in Washington and New Jersey were hospitalized for stomach pain after eating grilled food. Doctors found that metal brush bristles had perforated their intestines.

Both men underwent emergency surgery and survived. 

The advice: If your grill brush has any loose or broken bristles, toss it and get a new one.


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  • claygriffith01 Jun 4, 2012

    I think maybe these people aren't familiar with the proper use of a grill. If you don't wipe it down with Oil or at least water, then how do you prevent all the crust and crumbs you just scraped from getting in your food anyways.

  • piene2 Jun 1, 2012

    Common sense dictates that the cooking surface be wiped down with an oily (cooking oil) rag after it is brushed.

  • iknowmyschnitzel Jun 1, 2012

    People should be given IQ tests before allowing them to eat anything off the grill.

  • stoney Jun 1, 2012

    you are suppose to pick your teeth with them.