Why you should avoid BBQ grill brushes and what to use instead

Why you should avoid BBQ grill brushes and what to use instead

Summer is here, which means you will probably be spending more time around a barbeque, grilling delicious fresh and organic foods with friends and loved ones.

Keeping your grill clean is an important matter of hygiene. However, the most popular way to clean your grill (using a metal grill brush) may pose some serious health risks. Let’s take a look at why you should avoid BBQ grill brushes, and how you should safely clean your grill instead.

Wires from grill brushes can snap off during use, and can end up in grilled foods. When consumed, these bristles can cause potentially deadly injuries.

The worst are the bristles that make it all the way down to the intestines,” said Dr. David Grand, an associate professor of diagnostic imaging with the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University in Providence, R.I. “It if gets to your intestine and then perforates through the wall of your intestine, that is scary. We saw one migrate into the liver and cause a liver infection that had to be treated, and we’ve had bristles that pierced the intestines at multiple points and had to be retrieved surgically.”

Dr. Grand’s hospital had six cases of injuries due to grill brushes between March 2011 and June 2012.

Three patients had wire bristles end up in their intestines, which had to be removed through surgery or colonoscopy. The other three had bristles stuck in their neck, which had to be removed using a tube down their throat.

If you experience severe abdominal pain within a day of eating grilled meat, be sure to tell your doctor,” Grand added. “People often don’t think, ‘I have abdominal pain, I should tell my doctor about the burger I had yesterday,'” he said. “Tell your doctor you were grilling.”

Tip: Instead of using a metal grill brush, use aluminum foil. Simply ball up a piece of aluminum foil, grip the ball with a pair of long-handled tongs, and scrub away while the grill is on to get rid of any leftover substances.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Summer Danger: BBQ Grill Brush Wires Causing Big Health Woes.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 07 July 2015.
2. “How to Clean Your Grill Without a Grill Brush.” The Daily Meal. The Daily Meal, n.d. Web. 07 July 2015.

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