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Barbecue brush bristle sends Seattle teen to hospital

The Center for Disease Control released these images of a subject with a grill brush bristle inside them. (Image courtesy CDC)

We’re barely into barbecue season, and already a local teen has been sent to the hospital after swallowing a wire bristle from a cleaning brush.

Tristan Beck, 16, knew something was wrong a few days after the family’s weekend barbecue.

“I just remember being in school on Wednesday and just feeling like I was being stabbed in the stomach,” he told KING 5 from his hospital bed. “I was falling asleep in class and just not feeling good.”

A small wire bristle from a cleaning brush ended up in his food, and it eventually perforated his intestines. He’s going to be OK, but his family is warning people to check their brushes and replace them often.

Last summer, a Tacoma man needed emergency surgery for the same problem.

The CDC has even put out a special warning for barbecuers to check for loose metal brush bristles.

About the Author

Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic. Email Chris at


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