Barbecue wire brushes

This page is for: 

Wire bristles from barbecue brushes can cause serious throat or digestive injuries when ingested.

Thousands of injuries have been reported from accidentally consuming the bristles around the world, including in Australia.

The metal bristles on barbecue brushes can become loose.  Be aware of bristles falling out while cleaning barbecue grills with a wire brush. Check the plate and grills regularly for any loose wires. These detached bristles can get stuck to the grill, then wedged inside the food.

Australians are great lovers of a barbecue so it is strongly recommended to follow the tips below to help prevent injury to your friends and family.

If you use a wire brush:

  • buy quality product – check the bristles’ strength and see if you can pull one out with your fingers   
  • inspect it regularly – if you see loose bristles or can pull any out, replace it
  • replace the brush as soon as you see it looks bent, damaged or filled with too much grease and dirt
  • check the grill for any bristles before use
  • examine your food before you eat it.

Remember there are other ways to clean – try bristle-free brushes, grill scrapers, stone cleaners or tin foil and tongs.

If you have been injured by or have safety concerns about something, you can report a product.


barbecue brush
barbecue brush, by Consumer Protection
barbecue brush with wire bristles

Last modified: