Dangers of Wire Grill Brushes and a Solution!
About three months ago I received a call from a customer looking for a non-metal grate cleaning tool. He explained his son has swallowed a 5/8 inch piece of stainless steel from a wire cleaning brush. The piece of metal lodged in his esophagus creating a gag reflex and he had to have surgery to have it removed.
The father explained that he expected this was a rare or unusual situation, but he did additional research. He learned that at his local Hospital in Rhode Island they had 6 Emergency Room cases in the prior year from wire brush remnants breaking off, getting onto the grill, into the food and being unknowingly eaten and swallowed.
“Isn’t as rare as one may think”
In fact, it appears the problem is very serious and has been highlighted by CBS News in a Report from the Center from Disease Control.
There are literally hundreds of stories and warning related articles that spell out the true dangers of wire brushes losing bristles on grill grates and contaminating the food source and ultimately ending up in the bodies of those who eat the food like family, children, pets, etc. Here is another recent article that outlines the dangers from ingesting pieces of wire brushes.
The Danger is Stainless Steel
The reality is that you could likely swallow a small piece of steel brush and it would ultimately rust or breakdown but Stainless Steel is a different problem. It will not break down and the closer it gets to exiting your body, potentially the more dangerous it can become. Puncturing the intestines track can cause rapid and sever infection and left untreated it can cause death.
A Safe Alternative: The Scrapesation
When I first learned of this problem I went home and threw away all my wire grill brushes. Then I began a search for a safe alternative. I found a product made specifically to clean a grill grate from natural wood, red oak to be precise.
I stumbled onto The Scrapesation and knew it was prefect solution. It’s a great and SAFE alternative to the wire brush and if you need a new grate cleaner, then I hope you will consider the product. It will last for many, many years (designed to outlast your grill) and actually conforms to your exact grill grate design in just the 1st use!
It doesn't matter if you are using a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo, Weber or any grill as the Scrapesation will conform to any grill grate!
We want to hear from you: Have you made the switch to a wood grill scraper? Known anyone injured by a wire scraper? Let us know in the comments below!
Pictures of the Smokeware Scrapesation: