Plenty of barbecue tools look like they can hurt you pretty badly, but your wire cleaning brush? As odd as it might seem, it could be the most dangerous of them all.There may be a pointy, two-tined fork or a long, stabby knife swinging from your grill’s accessory hooks, but it’s that innocent-looking wire brush you have to look out for. That’s because those stubby metal bristles have a tendency to fall out… and when they do, they can wind up in your food.Like it or not, you eat all kinds of things without your knowledge. Stuff like pet hairs and small insects aren’t any big deal, but those wire bristles? They can do some seriously bad stuff to your body. They can become lodged in your tongue or throat, for example, and surgeons say that they have yet to figure out a reliable method of finding and removing them.Dr. Ian Dempsey explained that it’s like the old saying “trying to find a needle in a haystack,” adding ” but the haystack is your tongue.” Bristles that work their way down farther can be downright deadly. One patient wound up with a minute bristle lodged in his small intestine. Doctors finally managed to find it as it started working its way through the intestinal wall — if they hadn’t, it could have eventually worked its way into another organ and killed him.How big a problem is this, really? Dempsey said that in Halifax alone they’re seeing one or two ER visits every week. Halifax isn’t a particularly big city at around 400,000 people, so there could easily be more than a thousand barbecue brush-related emergencies in North America each month.Less likely to produce organ-damaging shardsMaybe it’s time to chuck your brush and switch to one of those pumice cleaners.