Deadly grilling dangers you might not expect

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TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma, Washington man had a health scare over the weekend, and it all had to do with a recent barbecue at his house. 

Adam Wojtanowicz said his stomach pain would just not go away. 

“I would say it was more like being stabbed in the gut,” the 31-year-old man said.

He said after antibiotics and medication didn’t ease the pain, he went to Tacoma General Hospital Sunday. 

Physicians performed a CAT scan and Dr. Steve Norton looked at it. 

He had recently read a story about the danger posed by barbecue grill brushes and knew exactly what he was looking at. 

“You can see a metallic object,” Norton said as he looked at the cat scan. 

He performed emergency surgery on Wojtanowicz, and pulled out a thin, metal bristle from his intestinal tract. 

Adam said he recently hosted a barbecue at his house and the steel bristle from his grill brush likely fell on to his steak. 

He says he probably swallowed it without knowing. 

The CDC said it knows of at least six people who have recently suffered similar injuries from brush bristles. 

It does not blame a particular brand or type of brush. 

“This is a huge public safety issue,” Norton said.

He said, if untreated, the bristle could lead to internal intestinal leakage resulting in death.

“I’m now going to think every time now that I go out and barbecue my steaks.” 

Wojtanowicz is expected to make a full recovery and is now laughing about the whole ordeal. 

“This solidifies the fact it’s the most expensive steak I’ve ever bought,” he said.


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