Wire Brushes: A hidden grill danger

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Thomas Hatcher uses a wire brush to clean his grill. But in 2015, a piece of the brush got stuck in his hamburger and then in his mouth.

“I was about halfway through it and I felt something really sharp, an intense pain,” said Thomas Hatcher.

The hot piece of wire lodged into his tongue, requiring a trip to the hospital and stitches.

“It was just a pain that I have never felt before,” said Hatcher. 

Cheryl Harrison was also eating a burger when she swallowed this piece of wire brush that doctors had to remove from her intestines.

“I felt my stomach was bloated, extremely tender to the touch,” said Cheryl Harrison. 

Research shows about 130 people go to the emergency room every year with these type of injuries.

“There’s a piece of wire that you’re not going to be able to digest and that can cause an internal burn injury that can actually burn through parts of your stomach or your intestines,” said Dr. Erick Eiting, Mount Sinai Health System.

Research shows that 1,600 people visited the ER with wire-bristle brush injuries between 2002 and 2014.

Dr. Eiting says it can easily be avoided. “It’s best just to take a damp cloth, wipe off the entire area before you turn the grill on, just make sure it’s clean and make sure nothing else is on there because that’s how it gets on to the food, it’s like a hidden particle that latches on to the food.”

A simple way to make sure your cookout is a safe one.

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