Consumer Alert: Grilling dangers - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Consumer Alert: Grilling dangers

Experts recommend alternatives to a wire bristle brush for grill cleaning. (Source: WOIO) Experts recommend alternatives to a wire bristle brush for grill cleaning. (Source: WOIO)
(WOIO) -

The beautiful holiday weekend had barbecuers salivating. Hopefully there will be many more to come. But one man's favorite grilled food sent him to the operating room for something you probably don't consider when you're flipping your burgers.
To all you grill masters out there, here's a warning tough to stomach. Thomas Hatcher needed stitches after eating his wife's homemade burger with jalapeno and onion, and accidentally spiking his tongue with 14 millimeters of wire.
"I was about halfway through it when I felt something really sharp, an intense pain in the back of my throat," says Hatcher.
Once he felt that barb, he immediately knew it was a bristle from the grill cleaner.
"It was dragging on the back of my mouth. And she got me the tweezers and we were trying to grab it with tweezers. But when I would stick my tongue out, it would go into my tongue," he explains. 
A dentist even had a hard time finding it. Two long days later, a surgeon pulled out the wire.
Hatcher believes it's part of a triangle grill brush his wife used to clean their grill before cooking. She wiped it down, but one bristle still got into the burger.

Now Hatcher is telling his story to warn others. He hopes to keep you from feeling his pain.
"They need to be very careful and I would suggest that they not use any kind of metal brush anymore," he says.

As a precaution, grills can be cleaned with aluminum foil, coil or nylon brushes. Then wipe them down with a cloth and carefully inspect them before cooking any food.
Here are two brushes recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute:

-16" Double Helix Bristle Free BBQ Brush

-Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser

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