Let’s face it: Nobody’s changing their barbecued-red-meat diet just because the World Heath Organization and a couple of doctors found two ways that it “probably” causes cancer. Worrying about grilled meat would take a more immediate threat … something like, maybe, this study in the latest issue of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, by a group of doctors who went through the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s reports and the SaferProducts.gov database and discovered that 1,698 Americans were rushed to the ER between 2002 and 2014 because they accidentally “ingested” wire bristles from grill brushes. Researchers warn the danger is “under-reported and thus underappreciated,” since there’s no way to count the number of visits to urgent-care clinics or other outpatient settings. The thin metal wires are apparently breaking off when the brush is used to clean the rack, and the rogue ones are then just lying in wait until something like a burger patty gets plopped on, then sticking to it. Reported injuries mostly involved the mouth, throat, and tonsils (yikes), but some especially unlucky people managed to swallow the bristles fully, getting them as far down as the stomach and abdominal region.
It’s like a minefield. Photo: Tetra Images