With the summer season kicking off, your grill might be getting regular use. But before creating your next batch of burgers, take stock of your grill brush.

If you use a stainless steel or brass wire brush to remove stuck-on food from grill grates, be aware of this surprising downside: Small, sharp bristles can break off as you’re cleaning and get stuck to your grill’s cooking surface. The next time you grill, the stray bristles can adhere to food and be accidentally ingested.

An estimated 1,700 Americans went to an emergency room between 2002 and 2014 after having ingested wire bristles in grilled food, according to a study published in 2016 in the journal Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. One in four of those with grill brush injuries had to be admitted to the hospital.

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