WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - Once the weather clears, many families will be enjoying their time outside with a barbecue.
However, doctors say the way you clean your grill could put your family in serious danger.
After eating a burger from the grill, Cheryl Harrison said she knew something was terribly wrong.
Within 48 hours, she suffered severe stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital.
"It was just a pain that I have never felt before," Harrison said. "I felt my stomach was bloated... extremely tender to the touch. You could not even push on anything - just hurt my stomach."
Doctors say Harrison had ingested a small, thin wire that became lodged in her intestine.
Her husband had cleaned the grill with a wire-bristled brush before cooking and one of those bristles had fallen off and was inside of her burger.
"I have never heard of anything like this happening to anyone. I was totally shocked when it happened to me," Harrison said.
Harrison underwent emergency surgery to remove the wire.
Dr. Aziz Benbrahim says this type of situation is extremely dangerous, and isn't as rare as you may think.
"At that time, it makes a hole in the intestine and that's really very life threatening," Benbrahim said. "We had a patient have it for two weeks and he had severe complications and a bigger surgery."
Last year, a young girl named Anna Dunn ingested a one inch piece of wire after eating a hot dog at a summer picnic.
She had surgery to remove it after it became lodged in her throat.
"I just think everyone should be aware because it's a very dangerous thing and it does happen to people," Harrison said.
There are a number of alternatives for cleaning a grill, such as buying a brush without wire bristles.
Grillers can also use a ball of aluminum foil, a nylon-based sponge or could choose to burn the food remnants off.