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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Grillers Beware!

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Wire brushes are commonly used to clean grills, however, the danger of these scrubbing instruments may far outweigh their benefit.

A Connecticut woman was rushed to the emergency room with extreme stomach pain two days after eating a grilled burger. Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove a thin, inch-long piece of metal from a grill brush in her intestine.

While the incident may seem bizarre, it isn’t as rare as you might think. In a 2012 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified six cases that were treated at a Providence, R.I., hospital between March 2011 and June 2012. The injuries ranged in severity from a puncture in the neck tissue that caused pain while swallowing to a perforations in the gastrointestinal tract that required emergency surgery. These weren’t even the first cases reported. Six other cases were identified at the same hospital from July 2009 through November 2010.

Although not considered a widespread issue, the CDC hopes being proactive in warning grillers will prevent an increase of injury cases. The agency recommends using a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking as an alternative to wire brushes. A ball of aluminum foil or a nylon-based sponge are other alternatives. If you must use a wire brush, rinse the grill thoroughly after scrubbing, then check the surface very carefully for loose wires before grilling. The CDC also warns doctors to be extra cautious when dealing with abdominal or swallowing pain that cannot be explained because the metal pieces are small and cannot be picked up by most x-rays. A timely diagnosis is critical to minimizing the damage from an ingested wire.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

1 Comment

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Has anyone done anything with one of these incidents? Are there any lawyers working on these cases?