Bristle-brush injury reports double in Canada

A barbecue steel bristle brush Andre Bonn/Shutterstock

While the dangers of cleaning your barbecue with a bristle brush are becoming more widely known, the amount of bristle brush injuries reported to Health Canada doubled this summer. Currently, there are 40 reports, more than half of which were submitted in July of this year.

Most of the reports detail injuries caused by patients ingesting wire bristles. The most common injuries are to the mouth and throat, although one doctor reported that a patient’s bowel had been perforated by a bristle.

In August, a Health Canada risk-assessment report was completed, and the issue was referred to the Health Canada’s Risk Management Bureau. However, it is unclear what, if any, action will be taken.

Some doctors are calling for an immediate ban, especially since this seems to becoming a more common issue.

“There are safer options out there and pulling this product off the market would probably be the safest thing to do,” Dr. Leigh Bishop, a surgeon at Guelph General Hospital, told the CBC.

Dr. Bishop has treated several patients with this type of injury and believes many cases go unreported.

There are many alternative tools and methods you can use to clean your barbecue that won’t leave unwanted bristles in your burger, including using bristle-free brushes, washing with vinegar, and steaming off barbecue residue.

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