You might want to give that burger a little inspection before enjoying its savory goodness.
That's because a new study found a frightening amount of people were hospitalized after eating food items discovered to contain wire bristles from grill brushes.
According to ScienceDaily, researchers examined numerous databases and reports to determine there were 1,698 cases between 2002 and 2014 in which people went to the emergency room for injuries related to ingesting wire bristles.
It seems the bristles have a tendency to fall off the brushes and become stuck in the grills they are used to clean. The bristles then become embedded into whatever is being cooked, and when they're swallowed, they become potentially damaging to various parts of the body.
Out of the aforementioned emergency room cases, the majority involved injuries to the mouth, throat and tonsils.
Injuries to the esophagus, head and neck were fairly frequent as well.
In a press release, study author Dr. CW David Chang said,
The issue is likely under reported and thus underappreciated. Because of the uncommon nature of wire bristle injuries, people may not be as mindful about the dangers and implications. Awareness among emergency department physicians, radiologists, and otolaryngologists is particularly important so that appropriate tests and examinations can be conducted.
Last May, a Connecticut woman underwent emergency surgery after ingesting a metal bristle embedded in a burger she ate during a Memorial Day cookout.
Cheryl Harrison, 52, said she did not feel the 1-inch bristle when she bit into the burger and first experienced stomach pain two days after eating it, New York Daily News reports.
The bristle became lodged in Harrison's lower intestine and could have killed her if it poked a hole in the organ, but she reportedly recovered following a short operation.
Dr. Chang and his team recommend carefully looking at brushes, as well as cooking grates, before use and throwing brushes away if any bristles appear loose.
It's probably best to find a grill-cleaning tool that doesn't use wire bristles, though it's unclear if such an invention appeared on "Shark Tank" just yet.