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New national standards in the works for BBQ brushes to avoid injury

Last Updated Apr 26, 2018 at 8:04 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

New guidelines look to make BBQ brushes safer in a bid to help people avoid choking on steel bristles

Bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to come up with BBQ brush safety standards

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – With the return of BBQ season comes renewed concern about BBQ brushes, whose bristles can wind up in your food, or worse stuck in your throat.

The Standards Council of Canada says it is developing new national guidelines to prevent people from accidentally ingesting the wires.

The guidelines come after Health Canada investigated the safety of metal brushes in 2017 but proposed no recommendations for further regulatory action.

They’re working with the Retail Council of Canada to look at how those brushes are made, tested, sold and they’ll look at the use of the cleaning tools.

The council’s Cory Anderson says those new standards won’t take effect right away. He says it should take 12 to 18 months. “It could take less time but obviously, we want to get this through as quick as possible.”

Until then it’s buyer beware.

“The steel brushes, after extended use, they break off, they get stuck onto the grills and sometimes they could get stuck in people’s food and they consume it. Hopefully with the development of this standard that won’t happen anymore.”

Anderson isn’t looking to alarm anyone. He says there are some high quality brushes on the market, but there are also some low quality items on shelves as well.

“Having a standard developed… at least we could see which ones are the best and members of the Retail Council — they will be providing ones that would have fallen under the standard that would have been developed.”

Since 2011 Health Canada has seen at least nine reports of people accidentally swallowing the bristles which can lead to some extremely serious health problems.