According to a series of news articles, patients have been reportedly rushed to the hospital after accidentally swallowing wire brush bristles.
Hospital reports show that consumers who have ingested burgers prepared on grills cleaned with brushes made with metal bristle may have swallowed small pieces of the synthetic material since they tend to become lodged in the metal if the items are not entirely inspected.
According to several accounts, at least six people were rushed to the hospital between 2011 and 2012 in the Rhode Island area after swallowing bits of bristle with their burgers. Doctors claim that between 2009 and 2010, six other patients ended up in the ER with the same symptoms. The news says that other cases are reported across the nation, but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, at least 9 cases associated with consumers ingesting pieces of bristle brushes have been reported nationwide. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also stated that an investigation is ongoing to identify if there’s a pattern of defect with the grill brushes and if there is, if this pattern could pose a serious risk to consumers in the future.
No particular brand or manufacturer was linked to all incidents related to the ingestion of bristle brushes but more information should be available soon.
Up to this moment, consumers can only be advised they must always check their grills after they are cleaned. Never assume grills are entirely clean after using a brush to scrub it; check for residues that could turn out to be hazardous and don’t forget to retire brushes that have been around for longer than two or three years.
According to the news, once the item is lodged in the body, the material can puncture and damage several organs. In one of the reported cases, pieces of bristle perforated a woman’s stomach and ended up becoming lodged in her liver.
Some companies responsible for the manufacturing of some brands of bristle brushes have stepped up to claim that they haven’t received any reports of consumers ingesting the material in the past.
Hopefully, the federal agency is being able to identify what kind of product could pose real risks to consumers. More information on this potentially hazardous product should be available soon. As a personal injury lawyer, I’d simply be heartbroken to learn that more people in the country became ill or injured as a result of an incident related to the consumption of a piece of bristle brush.
Stay alert and keep your grills clean during the summer.