There are several dangers involved in outdoor cooking. Few people probably realize one potential killer is a grilling instrument. No, not the poker. The grill brush. The grill brush could screw you up, majorly.
A new study conducted at the University of Missouri School of Medicine identified more than 1,600 injuries from wire-bristle grill brushes reported in emergency rooms since 2002. Loose bristles can fall off the brush during cleaning and end up in the grilled food, which, if consumed, can lead to injuries in the mouth, throat and tonsils. Researchers advise individuals to inspect their food carefully after grilling or consider alternative grill-cleaning methods.
That works out to about 114 injuries a year, which doesn’t sound like many, but take into consideration this study was done only on emergency room visits. This number doesn’t take into account the patients who instead went to urgent care facilities, outpatient facilities, their own doctors or the old men who just stupidly toughed it out.
“Wire-bristle brush injuries are a potential consumer safety issue, so it is important that people, manufacturers and health providers be aware of the problem,” said David Chang, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at the MU School of Medicine. “If doctors are unaware that this problem exists, they may not order the appropriate tests or capture the correct patient history to reach the right diagnosis.”
Of the 1,698 cases studied, the most common injuries reported were in patients’ oral cavities, throats and tonsils. Some injuries even required surgery.
“One little bristle unrecognized could get lodged in various areas of the body, whether in the throat, tonsil or neck region,” Chang said. “If the bristle passes through those regions without lodging itself, it could get stuck further downstream in places like the esophagus, stomach or the intestine. The biggest worry is that it will lodge into those areas and get stuck in the wall of the intestine. The bristles could migrate out of the intestine and cause further internal damage.”
And now I’m imagining passing wire bristles through my brown eye and now I’m ordering take out for the entire summer. Get yourself a legit grill brush before you kill someone, possibly yourself.
[via Science Daily]