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The hidden dangers behind cooking on the grill

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Firing up the grill is a summer tradition for many families, but before you start chowing down on those BBQ favorites, doctors warn that the way you clean your grill could put your family in serious danger.

Those who clean their grills with a wire-bristled brush could be taking a risk, as those bristles could snap off, land on the grate, and end up in the food that is being cooked. If you swallow a metal bristle, it can scratch your esophagus or become lodged in your throat, stomach, or any part of your intestinal area, causing the need for emergency surgery.

"There [are] like 80,000 possible cases throughout the country that could be related one way or another to [the] issue like this," said Dr. Georges Jabaly.

Experts from Myers Fireplace and Patio in Toledo say it's alright to use a metal brush to clean your grill, but you should take extra safety measures by wiping down the grill with an oil. This will pick up any bristles on the grates.

"It's easy to miss, especially if you have a really dirty grill," said Tim Olejniczak of Myers Fireplace and Patio. "A lot of people will just give it a quick once-over, they don't pay attention. There's oils [that] bristles can stick to... which is going to lie up against the grate and you're possibly not going to see it, especially if you have stainless steel grates. The stainless steel bristles are going to blend right in."

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