burgers on the grill

When You Fire up the Grill This Summer

‘Tis the season for firing up the barbecue to enjoy some delicious sizzling steaks, burgers and dogs in the backyard with family and friends. The last thing we want to do is to put a damper on your summer picnic.

Yet, some reminders are in order. These are things we often don’t think about during these fun times with food and drink.

First, this common tool has been in the news before, and again just recently. The wire grill brush. Harmless enough, right? Not so fast.

An estimated 1,700 Americans went to an emergency room between 2002 and 2014 after having ingested wire bristles hidden in grilled food, according to a study published in the medical journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

One in four of those with grill brush injuries had to be admitted to the hospital. It doesn’t seem like a lot but this only includes ER visits and does not account for people who sought treatment at urgent care facilities. Problems are usually due to a wire bristle embedded in food and causes injury to the mouth and throat. Occasionally a wire must be removed from the stomach and intestines. There have been very few deaths attributed to this type of injury, but it’s certainly serious enough to ruin your event.

The solution here is simple. Inspect your wire brush. If you see that some of the wires are loose, toss it and get a new one. Better yet, use some of the alternative grill cleaners on the market such as a pumice stone or even a wad of crumpled-up aluminum foil.

There are some other risks to be aware of. There are thousands of reports of recalls of gas grills and propane tanks. What’s more, not enough people clean their grills and then regularly check for leaks around gas fittings. A very common mishap that can cause potentially very severe injury is when grillers turn on the gas before opening the lid of the grill. Or, when a grill doesn’t light initially, they try to light it again right away, not aware of the gas build-up. Instead, treat every attempt to light a grill like it’s the first time.

Open the lid, turn on the gas, try to light the grill. If it doesn’t light, wait five minutes until the gas clears, then try again.

The lawyers at Theodoros & Rooth bring you this information as a friendly reminder so that you have an accident-free grilling season and just happy times with friends, family, and one of the most anticipated times of the year – the grilling season.

While most of grilling accidents are caused by simple carelessness, there are accidents involving grills and related products that are caused by manufacturing defects and negligence on the part of manufacturers and suppliers. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective product, call one of the lawyers at Theodoros & Rooth immediately. We have had decades of experience pursuing personal injury cases. If you believe you have a case, don’t wait. There is never a charge for a consultation, and there are no attorney fees until we get you the compensation that you deserve.