Following reports of people injured after they ingested metal bristles that had fallen off grill brushes and stuck to meat they were cooking, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the grill brushes are safe to use.
Schumer, who cited our coverage last week of two such incidents, was joined by Chuck Bell, programs director at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
"Grill brushes that have metal bristles can pose a serious, unexpected hazard, if the bristles come off the brush and become lodged in foods," says Bell. "If the bristles are swallowed, they can cause choking and/or perforation of the digestive tract."
Schumer sent a letter to the CPSC and the FDA urging the agencies to launch a safety review of metal-bristle grill brushes and warn consumers about their potential dangers.
"Metal bristles are one topping no one wants on their burger," he said. "Grilling season should be a great time for the whole family, not a time to be worried about an emergency visit to the hospital."
We agree. For additional grill safety tips see Five ways to botch your backyard barbecue.
Metal Bristles Are One Topping No One Wants on Their Burger This Barbecue Season [Schumer.senate.gov]