After years of safety warnings, the wire brush used to clean outdoor grills is now the subject of an investigation by Health Canada.
Since June 2011, the federal health agency has received nine reports of injuries associated with wire bristle brushes.
Health Canada confirmed to 650 CKOM Monday the agency is conduction a risk assessment looking at whether the brushes pose a hazard.
A Red Deer, Alberta women believes injuries are more common than Health Canada thinks.
Kim Schellenberg accidentally swallowed a bristle while eating leftover barbecue in 2014.
“For a moment I felt something (in my mouth) and then all of a sudden wham it was there in my throat,” she said.
Schellenberg was transferred from a hospital in Red Deer to Calgary and spent four days going through x-rays, CT scans and invasive surgeries before the bristle passed on its own.
She told 650 CKOM she never thought to contact Health Canada to report it and assumed her doctor would have.
According to Schellenberg, friends have started to share their stories with her including one woman finding a bristle just before taking a bite of steak.
“Taking that step to contact Health Canada, it just wasn’t something that entered her mind,” Schellenberg said. “It was just like phew lucky nothing happened.”
Doctors have been raising concern about the brushes saying the bristles can fall onto food and get lodged in people’s throats and digestive tracts, requiring surgery to remove.
Health Canada’s review is expected to be finished by the end of the summer. Possible actions could include a recall or a ban on selling the product.