Monday, May 21, 2012

A metal bristle from a grill brush, an example of a metal hazard

As reported by CBS News New York, a man swallowed a metal bristle and caused a severe laceration of his intestine. The bristle, off the grill cleaning brush, had become embedded in the steak and was unknowingly swallowed as the man ate his steak. As it moved through the intestine, it pierced the intestine, leading to a life threatening infection.

When evaluating hazards in food, there is a tendency to minimize the seriousness of metal hazards. This is a great example of how a piece of metal can be missed during chewing as well the type of damage it can cause.

New Jersey Man Recovering After Eating Metallic Bristle From Grill Brush

RIVER EDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Think twice before you put the metal to the barbeque this grilling season.

A New Jersey man’s brush with death last week was apparently due to a grilling tool.

Michael DeStafan went to
Hackensack University Medical Center thinking he had appendicitis after experiencing excruciating pain in his stomach.

Doctors conducted tests and found a 1 ½-inch-long metallic object had pierced the 54-year-old’s large intestine.  Doctors thought he had swallowed a nail, fish hook or paper.

DeStafan’s wife figured out one of the metal bristles on his grill brush broke off, got stuck to the grill grate and embedded itself in the shell steak her husband had cooked and eaten days before visiting the hospital.

Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove the wire and repair the hole that it made in DeStefan’s large intestine.

“”There was an infection, they just didn’t know how big the infection was, or how much of a hole it had torn inside my intestines, and they didn’t know that until they went in,” DeStafan said. “When I went under he told me I have to do this immediately, because we don’t know what we’re going to find, and there’s a chance that you might not make it.”

DeStafan is hoping his brush with death serves as a warning to others.

“I hope no one will have to go through that,” DeStafan said. “I want people to be aware of the fact that something as simple and innocent as going outside and grilling steaks and hamburgers for your family and friends could potentially be life-threatening.”

The Record reports half a dozen similar cases have been documented in Rhode Island.

DeStafan has since ditched the brush and instead uses a stone to clean the grill.

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