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Barbecue Brush Related Injuries Published: ()

You might have noticed that barbecue (BBQ) brush injuries have received a lot of attention lately. This common household item is designed to clean BBQ grills, but sometimes their bristles can detach and remain on the grill, then transfer to food and be consumed without being noticed. As a result, BBQ brushes are now understood to be a risk to human health and safety. Although BBQ brush injuries are rare, they can result in serious complications.

The numbers below are taken from an analysis of the electronic Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (eCHIRPP) surveillance system which appears in the October 2017 issue of the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention journal (Volume 37 No. 10).

1.5/100,000 cases

In the last year, BBQ brush injuries were identified in 1.5 per 100,000 reported emergency department cases among individuals of all ages.

4 Seasons

BBQ brush injuries don’t just happen in the summer, they happen throughout the year.


Most injuries involved a bristle imbedding into an individual’s respiratory and digestive tract. However, loose bristles can cause other types of injury too; one case involved a bristle affecting the eye!


The actual number of individuals that have experienced BBQ brush injuries is unknown. Individuals with BBQ brush injuries might seek care at sites other than emergency departments or might not seek care at all.

More information about the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program surveillance system is available.

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