The weather is finally getting warmer, and with warmer weather comes grilling season.  This time of year my favorite thing to do is bust out the grill, and enjoy some fresh grilled food.  But when you clean your grill you need to be careful what you're cleaning it with.

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A Facebook post went viral a couple years ago, and recently re-circulated about the dangers of using a wire grill brush.  Here's what the viral Facebook post by Emily Long said:

It's officially grilling season, and ever since my experience in 2015, I feel like it's my responsibility to share the danger of wire bristled grill brushes since I still see them EVERYWHERE!!!
Three years ago, I took ONE bite of a burger, and immediately felt like I had swallowed glass.
I felt a sharp stabbing pain in the back of my throat.
The more I swallowed, the more it dug.
I started gagging and choking, throwing up, trying to drink water to "wash it down" and still the pain in the back of my throat wouldn't go away.
With my son in the bathtub and my husband frantically trying to help, I decided I needed to take a trip to the ER. I could tell it wasn't going anywhere on its own.
Once we finally got in, this was the culprit. A wire grill brush bristle was lodged across the back of my throat by both ends.
Needless to say, it freaked us all out since both my husband and son had also eaten a burger and it easy could have been one of theirs .
Later, we did some investigating and this is what we saw on our grill. Wire bristles EVERYWHERE.
I looked it up and there were stories of children getting them lodged halfway down their esophagus, one woman ended up with a feeding tube for months because they were unable to identify her stomach pain she was experiencing until months later when they realized it was a grill brush bristle that had perforated her stomach.
Turns out i got pretty lucky with it only being stuck in my throat.
SO! PLEASE check your grills, and THROW OUT your wire brushes! Pay attention to the food you eat at other people's BBQ's, and the types of brushes they use.
ONE bite sent me to the ER, I am so thankful it wasn't much worse!
Be safe!!

I decided to look into it to see how common this was, and it turns out many people have been injured from these wire bristles over the years. According to ConsumerReports.org, an estimated 1,700 Americans went to the ER from 2002-2014 after accidentally ingesting wire bristles that made their way into their grilled food.

ConsumerReports.org says while cleaning your grill is important, they recommend checking your grill grates thoroughly if you use a wire or brass bristle brush.  They also say to check your grill brush bristles, and if you notice it's starting to shed, it's time for a new brush.  If you'd like to just avoid the bristles all together, after a study of several different grill cleaners, Consumer Reports ranks the best as the Earthstone GrillStone, they say this consistently outperformed grill brushes.

 

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