Tuesday, July 10, 2012
A Tacoma, Washington man recently underwent emergency surgery to remove a BBQ brush steel bristle from his intestinal tract. The man stated he had recently hosted a July 4th backyard BBQ and the grill cleaning steel bristle must have fallen on his steak, and he swallowed it without knowing.
While incidents like this are extremely rare, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning regarding steel brush bristles and the dangers that they present to consumers. Readers of this blog all share a love and passion for cooking outdoors and they should be aware of the dangers posed by these cleaning brushes.
According to the CDC, the best prevention is consumer awareness. If you know a fellow BBQ enthusiast, pass along this blog or the CDC link to spread awareness of this danger. In 2012 alone, 6 cases were diagnosed and successfully treated, however all required surgery.
After cleaning your grilling surface, inspect it carefully for foreign debris. After cleaning with steel wool or a grill brush, rinse it off with your hose to knock off any contaminates. I recommend cleaning the grill grates after each use, and then lightly oiling them to prevent rust. Once a grill grate begins to show signs of rust, it is time to replace it. If your grill has porcelain coated grates, they should be washed in warm soapy water, rinsed, and allowed to dry before reuse.