Woman dines on BBQ, swallows wire from grill brush - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Woman dines on BBQ, swallows wire from grill brush

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A freak barbecue accident sends a Texas woman to the emergency room.

It wasn't the food that made her sick, but rather what happened during the cooking process on the grill.

Barbecue, on a hot summer day-- there's nothing like it. On Saturday, Karen Dunlap and her husband grilled chicken at their Lake Conroe home.

"It was really the best grilled chicken he'd ever made, I was like wow! This is so good and I'm eating it and the third bite I bit down on something hard and I thought at first it was a charred piece of the chicken or something and as I swallowed it I realized no, this is not something I should be swallowing," Dunlap said.

She went to the emergency room. Doctors found a wire from the grill brush her husband used shortly before putting the meat on to cook lodged in her esophagus.

"The pain was radiating down and up and every time I would swallow it got worse," she said.

Once doctors removed it, she instantly felt better.

The wire brush, she says, is in the trash.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study of wire brush incidents in 2012. According to the report, bristles were located in the necks of patients. Others had to undergo abdominal surgery to retrieve the object from their intestines.

The CDC urged people to examine grills for the presence of bristles and use alternative grill-cleaning methods.

Read full CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6126a4.htm

Kathy Bousquet owns Barbeque Mercantile in North Austin. She showed us a few safe ways to clean a grill.

"The problem with brushes mounted in plastic is if you use these on a very hot grill the plastic wants to start to melt and release the bristles. So if you are going to use one like this make sure you are using it on a cooler grill surface. That helps eliminate that problem. Another way to clean your grill is using a scraper. It's really versatile. Nothing is gonna break off or harm you," Bousquet said. "The best solution of all is a wooden paddle. It comes straight across but as you use it on a hot grill, it will char in and make a custom scrape for your grill. So obviously no bristles, very safe and they look pretty good too."

Dunlap says she's sticking to oven cleaner, "We will never use a wire brush again. It's really too scary."

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