She went from eating to the emergency room and you'll never guess what sent her there. It’s a story you definitely want to check out as we enter the summer grilling season. Even the sight of a barbecue grill sends taste buds tumbling, makes mouths water and you can immediately smell the deliciousness but take a closer look and you may not salivate. Eat food from a grill that hasn’t been closely examined and you might end up rushed into surgery just like Karen Dunlap. “We went and looked at the grill when we got home on Sunday and you could see several little pieces of the bristles and we were like wow. We just never looked that closely,” admits Dunlap but now she knows you should.
Dunlap's husband grilled on Saturday. Three bites into her succulent chicken she swallowed a metal bristle from a barbecue grill cleaning brush. “Probably one of the most painful things I've ever been through and it just progressively got worse. Every time I would swallow the pain would just radiate. It would radiate in my head too. It was really incredibly painful,” explains Dunlap. A trip to the Emergency Room and a CT Scan confirmed she had a piece of wire stuck in her esophagus. “It was very scary,” she says.
Turns out, just before cooking Dunlap's husband cleaned the grill with a grill cleaning brush she bought him for Christmas. A bristle lodged in the grate, became embedded in the meat and Dunlap swallowed it. An endoscopic surgery removed the metal from her throat on Sunday.
”It's a good idea to check those grates and make sure they're clean,” says Farrell Benson Bering's Hardware Lawn & Garden Manager. So how do you do that without putting your family in danger? Benson tells us there are other options. ”Just like you have a little Scotch pad that you clean with in the kitchen or the bathrooms, now they have the scrubby pads on the brushes,” explains Benson. He says a brush will run you $7 to $15.
He says you can also use an item you probably already have. “If you've ever wadded up aluminum foil, a nice baseball size wad, you know how many edges it has to it and just run that along your grids and it’ll clean your grill,” Benson explains.
According to the Centers For Disease Control at least 80,000 people every year are rushed to the emergency room after swallowing something that isn't on the menu. Because so many people have ingested a metal grill brush bristle the CDC issued a warning to examine your grill closely to make sure it's clean and also consider an alternative cleaning tool, something other than a metal bristle brush. “We came home like noonish on Sunday and immediately threw away all of our grill brushes and said no we are not using these anymore,” says Dunlap.?