Wires From Grill Cleaners Find Way into Food, Cause Throat, Stomach Injuries

Wires From Grill Cleaners Find Way into Food, Cause Throat, Stomach InjuriesA number of Rhode Island residents have had to be treated in hospital emergency rooms after wire bristles made their way from grills to the food and into digestive tracts resulting in severe personal injury, HealthDay reports.

The wire bristles were traced back to the metallic brushes that are used to clean grills, which apparently found their way into beef or chicken that the hospital patients ate, a new report has found. Once eaten, the bristles became lodged in people's throats and stomachs, causing serious medical problems.

Although emergency physicians outside Rhode Island said they have not seen such an occurrence, report lead author Dr. David Grand said it could be happening all over the country.

"Certainly, we all love to grill, though I can't say for certain that Rhode Islanders grill anymore than other Americans," said Grand, a radiologist at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. "More likely, once we became aware of this problem we began looking for it, and if we don't specifically look for this we will not find it."

In an 18-month period between 2009 and 2010, six patients were admitted to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain or pain while swallowing. The patients, ranging in age from 11 to 75, said they didn't know the cause, but all said they had eaten grilled meats within the last 24 hours.

The report, which appeared in the American Journal of Roentgenology, stated that X-rays showed metallic bristles had been ingested and lodged in their throats or intestines, which had to be removed by surgery.

According to North Country Public Radio, three previous papers have been published on ingested wire grill bristles, which appeared in various medical journals beginning in 2005. Additional cases have also appeared since the latest report was written, Grand added.