5 On Your Side

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

Posted May 31, 2012 5:30 p.m. EDT

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.