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Back in April, we mentioned that Rhode Island residents have a propensity for perforating internal organs by swallowing charcoal grill brush bristles. This week, another set of cases was reported.

Rhode Island doctors reported that from 2011 to 2012, six people visited the emergency room after swallowing wire bristles found in meat cooked on the grill. The bristles were found in the patients’ throats, stomachs, intestines, and other internal organs.

Between 2009 and 2010, another six individuals were admitted to the emergency after swallowing bristles.

Health officials have begun to question whether a pattern can be identified. Earlier this year, Senator Charles Schumer asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review the grill brushes’ safety.

An investigation of hospital emergency departments throughout the U.S. found the problem is not exclusive to Rhode Island. Since 2007, nine Americans reportedly swallowed the bristles while eating meat cooked on a charcoal grill. Another 28 injuries were associated with the brushes and eight people say they have found bristles in their food or stuck to the grill.

Health officials are unsure about the particular brand, if any, causing the havoc. To minimize your chances of perforating your bowel and other internal organs, we recommend you follow these following tips and suggestions:

  • clean your grill with a wet cloth rather than a brush
  • clean the grill while it’s cold in order to minimize the chances of bristles sticking
  • throw away worn brushes and invest in a new one
  • wipe the grill after cleaning it with the brush to remove any loose bristles
  • inspect your grill prior to cooking with it.

If you have any other helpful tips, we’d love to hear from you.

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