Barbecue Brush Bristle Sends Boy to Hospital

Surgeons want everyone to throw out their wire-bristle brushes
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2016 6:26 PM CDT
Hamburger Holds Nasty Surprise for Canadian Boy
Canadian surgeons beg you, please don't use this to clean your barbecue.   (Wikimedia Commons)

The plight of a Canadian boy who just wanted to eat a hamburger is drawing attention to a risk that many backyard barbecuers may not realize even exists: wire brush bristles ending up in people's throats. CBC reports 6-year-old Anthony Fiore took a bite of a burger in June only to feel a sharp pain. "It felt like a needle," he says. Twelve hours later, Anthony was in surgery having a wire bristle removed from his throat. His mom, Nadia Cerelli, spoke out about the incident this week to draw attention to what is a growing problem. "I hope to have these brushes removed from the shelves, have them banned," she says.

Bristles coming loose from barbecue brushes, then finding their way from grill to food to throat is getting to be such an issue that the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology addressed it at its annual meeting this year. "None of us have figured out a surefire way to get rid of them, so we’d prefer just to prevent it from happening in the first place," Munchies quotes one otolaryngologist as saying. While surgeons in Canada are recommending no one use barbecue brushes with wire bristles, it's also a problem here in the US. One study found nearly 1,700 injuries from wire bristles in the US since 2002, the Austin American-Statesman reports. And according to CTV, researchers believe that number is an underestimate. (Another unexpectedly deadly item: these kites.)

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