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CDC Warns of Swallowing Wire Grill-Brush Bristles

July 10, 2012 — In the latest edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning about the dangers of accidentally ingesting wire grill-brush bristles. In recent years, the CDC has received 12 reports of children and adults accidentally swallowing wire grill-brush bristles. All of the cases appear to be caused when wire bristles become dislodged from a grill-cleaning brush, remain on the grill surface, and become embedded in food.

One hospital system reported six cases of wire bristle ingestion between July 2009 and November 2010. The same hospital system reported six additional cases between March 2011 and June 2012. The patients suffered soft-tissue punctures in the neck or perforation of the intestines.

The CDC described the case of a 50 year-old man who suffered severe abdominal pain after eating a steak at a backyard barbecue. The man went to the emergency department, where he underwent a CT scan of his abdomen and pelvis. The scan revealed a sharp object that had pierced his intestine. He underwent abdominal surgery to remove the object, which appeared to be a wire grill-brush bristle.

The report also described several cases where the bristles became embedded in the patient’s neck, producing severe pain on swallowing.

The CDC and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are currently reviewing injury data to determine whether a specific product is associated with an unreasonable risk of injury or death. If they find one product responsible for these injuries, they may initiate a recall.

Furthermore, the CDC wishes to increase awareness about the problem. People who use wire grill-brushes should examine the grill surface carefully to look for the presence of broken bristles. Physicians should also be aware of the issue to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment. Increased awareness of the problem might encourage manufacturers and retailers to develop of safer brushes. Until then, the CDC is encouraging the public and physicians to report these injuries to the CPSC at

Do I have a Wire Grill-Brush Bristle Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting wire grill-brush bristle injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by accidentally swallowing a grill-brush bristle, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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