A Minnesota woman is urging people to be careful this holiday weekend, after she was seriously injured during a grilling incident.

Bristles from her wire grill brush made it into her food.

“I was grilling vegetables and chicken,” Deborah Zvosec said. “And I was finishing up, there was a little bit of sauce on the grill pan and I just sort of took my fork and wiped it through the sauce and put a little tiny bit on my tongue.”

Zvosec had just swallowed a tiny grill brush bristle without even noticing it.

“When I got into the kitchen I felt this kind of sensation in back of my throat,” she said. “I had no idea what it was ‘cause I hadn’t seen anything.”

Zvosec had her husband Stephen, who is a doctor at HCMC, look in her mouth and throat.

“He couldn’t see anything, Zvosec said. “I continued to feel discomfort.”

A few minutes later, she found the culprit.

“There it was this tiny little grill bristle and I realized then that must have been what I swallowed before,” Zvosec said.

She more than five hours in surgery, where doctors tried to remove the 1.7 centimeter wire but had no luck.

It was lodged too deeply into her tongue, in the back of her throat.

“If it became infected, then I would have surgery again,” Zvosec said. “If it became infected and there was an abscess, then it would probably be easier to find.”

By Wednesday, an infection did push it out.

She is now feeling great, and is ready to enjoy the holiday weekend.

She said she hasn’t used the grill since and has thrown out all the brushes.

There are other options for cleaning your grill, including a pumice stone, or a scouring brush.

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