Grilling Safety

With the weather getting warmer, more people will be going outside to turn on the grill and start cooking meat, poultry, and other food items. While grilling is considered healthier than frying foods, there are also some risks involved. E.coli risks go up if you fail to properly grill your meat or chicken or you cook contaminated food products and burnt meat can contain carcinogens. However, there is another possible health risk being reported that involves use of a wire grill brush. Used to free up charred remains from the grill and protect the grill rack from damage, some medical professionals are reporting that there are patients seeking treatment for injuries because they’ve accidentally ingested the brush’s wire bristles.

According to a study involving doctors at Rhode Island Hospital, between May 2009 and November 2010, six patients were admitted to the emergency room there because of wire bristle ingestion. These patients came in complaining of abdominal pain and painful swallowing. They all had just eaten grilled meat. CT scan and x-ray results showed that there were wires in the abdomens and throats of the patients. The doctors determined that these were the grill brush bristles that had come off and gotten stuck in the meat.  The study’s lead author, radiologist David Grand, says they don’t know  if this is a  widespread problem.  He is, however, calling for more research.

The doctors had to perform surgery on three of the patients to remove the bristles. Two of these procedures were done on the small intestine, another on the liver. They also took out bristle wires from the necks of three patients. The findings from their study can be found online in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Obviously, getting wire bristles stuck in your throat or in one of your internal organs can be very painful and could lead to serious health problems–not to mention the complications that might result from having to undergo surgery to remedy the matter.

Grill brush bristles aren’t the only products that can cause a grilling accident. Unstable grills that have a defective support design can cause a fire and/or burn injuries, as can propane tank defects. Sometimes the danger is the person grilling because of inexperience or carelessness. Not knowing how to operate a grill or placing it in an area of the backyard that makes it a fire hazard can up the chance of serious injuries or death. Also, person in charge of food might leave meat products out in the sun too long, causing bacteria to grow, which can potentially lead to stomach illnesses and other health issues for those eating.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a personal injury or wrongful death or products liability matter that you would like to discuss.  I’ll be happy to see if I can give you a hand.

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