Health Warning For Wire Brushing Your Grates

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cosmicmiami, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, a friend of mine who is a Physicians Asst in an ER gave me a good heads up today.  One of the other ER docs had a patient that ingested a small piece of wire from a brush he used to clean his grill grates.  He said he felt it in his mouth but wasn't able to get it out somehow.  Not sure of the details.  Anyway, the guy ended up dying of sepsis two weeks later.  The sharp wire caused a lesion in his intestine and it got infected.

    This is not an urban legend.  I promise you.  Most of the time after I wire brush I will wipe down with an oil soaked towel.  After this, I'll surely take a closer look for any remnants.  When that brush starts betting old, replace it.

    Happy Smoking Y'all
    noboundaries likes this.
  2. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    It's funny that you posted this. This past summer I noticed that my old wire brush was leaving pieces of itself behind on my grill grates. So I chucked it.
  3. Ditto on the brush and noticed the same thing and chucked it.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A grill stone works better than a wire brush. Most restaurant supply's carry them.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't use those lousy brushes in the BBQ section of the store.

    Get a heavy duty job from the paint section which is not actually "wire".

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. crazyq

    crazyq Meat Mopper

    after I'm done cooking/smoking I let the temp get up hot and wash my grates with a blast of water from my house water hose. all the bulky left over junk on the grates is washed off yet the grates stay seasoned. that way when I start the next cook its clean and ready to go with no brushing needed.
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    He felt a piece of wire in his mouth and swallowed it any way? Difficult to believe, but ...

    This was a story a few years ago, seems there was a rash of people eating wire brushes in Rhode Island and landing in the ER. Every once in  awhile a story like this emerges, some are true, some are not. Bottom line is always check your grates if you use a wire brush, I always do.
  8. benjammn

    benjammn Newbie

    Great information none the less. Really never crossed my mind but I have always used the heavy duty "brushes". The heavy gauge ones.
  9. I can relate (somewhat)  Last summer I decided to clean out all the crud from the grill, so I scraped all that crap onto the drip tray, and pulled it out intending to clean that as well.  I got distracted with a a phone call or something, and walked away for a few minutes. When I came back, my wonderfully nosy dog had licked the thing clean, complete with probably hundreds of wire fragments.  I absolutely freaked out, and called the emergency vet, as it was the weekend.  They said, well, they are too small to show up on an xray of MRI, keep a close eye on her, and hope for the best.  What worried me was these little wires are stainless steel or brass, they're not going to dissolve. 

    Well. thank god she came out alright, but I never use the grill without first wiping it down with a rag or something first to get those off.

    Remember, it's the little things that get you-
  10. I let my grates cool off, then take them out and lean them up against the fence in the yard - my dog loves to lick it clean and is great at getting the crusty stuff off.  Then I throw them back on and cook the next meal.  (Kidding - I do a soap and water clean after the doggy grate washer!)
  11. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I have one of those ! I think I'm going to go that route from now on. Thanks for reminding me. ( now I just gotta find it) :biggrin:
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Really bad luck.  Think about all the garbage you accidently swallow.  Most of it is carried through the digestive track tangled up with non-digestible roughage or caught in the mucus layers of your stomach and safely passed out of the body. 

    I always follow a wire brushing of the hot grates with paper towels soaked in veg oil.  If using the RF I  follow the paper towels with a good spray of water from the hose, let them dry and then re-oil.
  13. I heat the grates, then wire brush them. Turn off the heat and with either a old (clean) t-shirt rag or even paper towels folded over and soaked in olive oil, use my tongs to rub the cloth across the grates. You'd be amazed at how much additional carbon comes off and it seasons the grates for the next cook. Keeps them in good shape as well.
  14. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    There was a segment on one of the Hospital TV shows on this recently. After I saw that, I realized that I bit down on a wire from a brush a few months ago, that had broken loose and attached to my burger. I was lucky, but I canned the wire brush and went and bought a stone the next day.

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