FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you use a wire-bristle grill brush to clean your grill, beware.
Bristles can break off and stick to the grill and cooked food, posing a serious health risk, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).
"When ingested, wire bristles have been known to cause injury and in some cases lead to a surgical emergency," AMA President Dr. Barbara McAneny said in an association news release.
To avoid injury and a trip to the emergency room, always wipe down the grill after you use it and inspect it for wire bristles before cooking, she advised.
At its annual meeting, the AMA called for federal officials to require a label on the brushes warning about the possibility of bristles breaking off and being accidentally ingested.
Between 2002 and 2014, there were more than 1,600 visits to U.S. emergency departments due to wire-bristle brush injuries, or about 130 a year, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.
Most of the injuries were to the mouth, throat and tonsils, and some patients required surgery.
Consumer Reports has more on wire-bristle grill brushes.