Canadian surgeons are urging people to get rid of their bristled BBQ brushes and opt for something a little safer to clean their BBQ. The thin, sharp, wires are getting lodged in people's throats, and no one has a sure-fire way to remove them yet.
The bristles become detached from the brush and stick to the grill, then get transferred to the food we consume. It can cause a lot of damage to your throat if you swallow it, potentially affecting your windpipe.
Otolaryngologist Dr Ian Dempsey told CBC News, "It's a needle in a haystack, but the haystack is your tongue. It's not an easy structure to go fishing around in, especially when it gets embedded in deeply."
Dempsey said removing the bristle from your throat is akin to removing an acupuncture needle from inside a grapefruit without damaging any part of the fruit. IE, it's not easy. One woman who swallowed a bristle said every swallow was a crazy, burning, pain.
"It was like I was being poked again with it every single time that I swallowed," Lisa Wadden told CBC News. Wadden had multiple CT scans, X-rays, unsuccessful attempts to remove the bristle. Ultimately, doctors told her it was best to just wait for scar tissue to build up around the wire to lessen the pain.
"It happened in the blink of an eye. There was nothing I could have done, nothing I could have seen," she said. "If anyone's having a barbecue that has a metal-cleaning brush, I won't even go close to that."
Doctors are seeing on average two cases a week involving BBQ bristles. They recommend using balled up tin foil to clean your grill instead. It's not worth the risk.
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