A hidden danger in outdoor grilling

CDC warns using a grill brush can be dangerous to your health

Health officials stress grilling safety

BERN TOWNSHIP, Pa - The sizzle on the grill is a sure sign of the Memorial Day holiday, but you could be cooking up danger for your entire family with outdoor grilling.

"Ribs, burgers, hot dogs, chicken...," said Nelly Veiczarrondo, who cooked out with her family Monday at Blue Marsh Lake in Bern Township, Berks Co.

Her food looked good, but many people don't realize they could be serving up a  major health risk when it comes to clean up.

The danger is the bristles from brushes used to clean the grills.

"I found a piece of the metal inside the meat when I was eating it," said Jaime Maya, who found a bristle in his food about a year ago. "It falls in the food and it's dangerous."

Maya almost swallowed the sharp metal from his grill brush, but he was lucky.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if swallowed those bristles can pierce your digestive system and get lodged in your body.

"I think it's horrible -- I mean especially when I'm feeding this to my children," said Isaias Colon, who was cooking for his family.

According to reports, a bristle recently penetrated a girl's colon in Delaware, and cases have been increasing over the years.

Most victims complain of severe pain when swallowing and require emergency surgery.

Now, Maya and the CDC are urging everyone to avoid using wire brushes to clean grills.

"You won't even know that you swallowed it, but you've got to be careful cooking on the grill and not use the brush at all," said Maya.

"I think we will have to change the way we clean our BBQ," said Veiczarrondo.

Instead of using a wire brush, the CDC recommends using a sponge or a cloth to clean your grill.

Officials hope the warning raises awareness for families and for doctors so they know how to treat it.

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