Eating large amounts of grilled meat has been linked to increased cancer risk for many years, according to medical experts, but some health professionals say that outdoor grilling also poses another serious health risk due to loose metal grill brush bristles that can become attached to meat in the cooking process and inadvertently consumed. These bristles can cause serious injury to the throat, stomach, intestines, or other internal organs. Twelve people sought treatment for injuries sustained after accidentally swallowing wire barbecue brush bristles embedded in grilled meat at the Rhode Island Hospital between 2009 and 2012, according to information compiled by the medical center and published in the United States Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This figure marks a significant increase in these types of cases when compared to figures from years previous to 2009. Doctors at the medical center also speculated that the number of people who inadvertently swallow metal brush bristles is significantly greater than the number of people who seek medical treatment for throat, stomach, intestine, or other organ injuries suffered after swallowing bristles contained in grilled meat. Many people may swallow these bristles and experience no symptoms. At the request of a United States senator, the Consumer Product Safety Commission examined data from hospital emergency rooms throughout the country and discovered nine cases in which patients were treated for injuries related to swallowing grill brush bristles since 2007, and another 28 grill brush related injuries that occurred after a bristle became stuck to the meat being cooked outdoors or to the grill itself. Bristles that have been swallowed can become lodged within the body, requiring surgical removal, or may puncture the intestines. In the case of intestine puncture, the bacteria lining the intestine can enter the bloodstream, putting the patient at risk of a widespread infection. Bristles may also enter the bloodstream and puncture larger organs such as the liver. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that grill users monitor the meat as it cooks to ensure that no stray brush bristles become embedded inside of it or stuck to the surface. Consider using grill tools not equipped with brushes, safety experts recommend, or discontinue using any brushes that appear worn-out. According to the report released by the health professionals at Rhode Island Hospital, the injuries suffered by patients who inadvertently swallowed detached metal grill brush bristles could not be significantly linked to any specific brand of grill brush.