Unexpected Barbecue Danger

Who doesn’t love firing up the barbecue and grilling up a fresh feast? We all know the dangers of undercooked or tainted meat, but did you know that your grill brush may also be putting your health at risk?

The Doctors are joined by Shawna, who was rushed to the emergency room after a tiny metal grill brush wire became lodged in the soft tissue of her throat. If it had not been found, Shawna could have suffered severe health complications, including edema, which would have closed her airway, and potential spinal injury.

ER physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that the pressure of scrubbing a grill clean can cause individual wires from the brush to break and land on the grill grates. These loose wires then can become stuck on food items that are cooked on top of the grates and be ingested by unsuspecting barbecue attendees.

Family medicine physician Dr. Rachael Ross offers three tips to ensure a safe barbecue:

  1. Clean your grill right after you barbecue, when the grates are still warm and food particles come off more easily.
  2. Replace your grill brush regularly. Old brushes can fray and leave behind dangerous bristles on the grill.
  3. Store your grill brush inside to keep it clean and protect it from outdoor elements.
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