Six-year-old Anthony Fiore was enjoying a delicious barbecue meal when he suddenly sensed an uncomfortable, sharp pain in his throat.
Anthony's mother, Nadia, had no idea why her son stopped eating his hamburger. They had family barbecues before, and her son never had an issue with the meat or any other ingredient. Her boy wasn't showing signs of an allergic reaction either.
The strange thing was that there wasn't anything visibly wrong with the meal everyone else was eating, and her boy was the only one who was in pain.
As time went by, it was clear that Anthony wasn't going to get any better. In fact, the pain started getting worse.
"It felt like a needle," the boy told CBC.
Nadia felt helpless, so she took her son to the emergency room where he was promptly given a CT scan.
"We knew something was wrong, and he was in extreme pain, because he was crying," Nadia recalled.
What doctors found first shocked the mother, then inspired her to help save the lives of others...
It wasn't the meal that caused the boy to feel ill, it was the wire-bristle barbecue brush used to clean the family's grill. One of the thin wires must have gotten stuck on the barbecue grill before it got stuck on the meat.
Now the Canadian mother is urging people to throw out these brushes before they endanger another life.
"I hope to have these brushes removed from the shelves, have them banned," she said.
Anthony was forced to have the sharp wire surgically removed, and after that he developed a throat infection from the bacteria that was on the bristle.
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time emergency room doctors have had to deal with similar injuries from wire bristles. In 2015, one woman from Connecticut also required surgery when a wire got stuck in her digestive tract.
"These stories have been happening as long as the brushes have been around," Duff Dixon, vice-president of development at Barbecue World, told CBC.
The next time you want to clean your barbecue grill, beware of the risks. Make sure to replace them often before the bristles break apart and get inside your food. Try using aluminum foil or a nylon brush to clean your grill instead.
Share this with a friend to let them know about the dangers of wire brushes!