There is a risk that bristles come off wire brushes used to clean barbecue grills, get stuck to food, then swallowed. (iStock)

Bristle brushes pose health risk, government seeks safety standard


As the weather warms up, Canadians love to get out the barbecue and cook outdoors, but the government is warning them to check the metal brushes they use to clean the grill. It is also seeking a voluntary safety standard for such brushes.

There have been cases where wire bristles have come loose, stuck to food, and after being swallowed become lodged in people’s digestive tract, presenting a serious health problem.

Health Canada warns people to inspect their wire brushes for loose bristles. (Vera-Lynn Kubineccbc)

Replace old brushes, warns Health Canada

Canada’s health department is warning people to inspect their brushes, their grills and barbecued food for bristles that have come loose. They are also advised to stop using any brush with loose bristles and to regularly replace these types of brushes.

The Standards Council of Canada has been asked to develop a voluntary safety standard for barbecue brushes including metal bristle brushes. The standard will define safety criteria such as labelling and testing.

A public review of the draft standard is expected to start in a few months. The draft will be published on the CSA Group’s website for 60 days to allow for public review and comment.

In 2017, A wire bristle travelled through a patient’s stomach and perforated the small intestine. (Submitted to CBC by Dr. Leigh Bishop)

Wires can be swallowed and lodge in the body

In 2017, a surgeon who had treated patients injured by swallowing wire bristles said the metal brushes should be taken off the market.That summer, there were 40 cases related to barbecue brush bristles reported to Health Canada. In those cases, 16 bristles were found in the mouth, 15 in the throat, one in the esophagus and one in the intestine. One person was treated for a perforated small bowel.

With files from CBC.

Categories: Health
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Bristle brushes pose health risk, government seeks safety standard
  1. Avatar Bev says:

    This is a serious problem that needs need more attention than health Canada is offering