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Grilling mistake nearly cost Edmonds teen his life

SEATTLE — Sweet, savory, bold and tangy are all words used to describe food hot off the barbecue. However, a local family wants to add the word dangerous after a little-known grilling hazard sent their teenage son to the emergency room.

“At school I started feeling really bad pains in my stomach like someone was stabbing me,” said Tristan Beck, 16, of Edmonds.

It wasn’t until doctors at Seattle Children’s performed exploratory surgery on Beck that they found what was making him violently ill — he had swallowed a metal bristle from a grilling brush.

“I was a little freaked out because I never had surgery before, so I didn’t necessarily want surgery. But I could’ve died if I didn’t have the surgery,” he said.

Steven Beck was at his son’s side in the hospital.

“Basically pulled his intestines out and they examined him.  And, they found a two inch metal being imbedded, impaled in his intestine,” he said. “That was creating the blockage.  It was like a hose being kinked up so the water couldn’t get through.”

Tristan is expected to make a full recovery.

To keep your family safe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend inspecting your grill brush before each use and replacing it often.tristanbeck


  • bs1

    Did he forget to chew or was he intoxicated? Any normal person would readily find a 2" piece of metal in their food before swallowing it.

  • JusDav

    LOL, "check your metal bristled brush before and after each use to ensure none of the bristles has been lost in you food"?? really, shoot, I am pretty smart, wise, educated, whatever, but I do not even think I can count that high.. you want me to count the bristles before and after.. how the heck can I do that.

    here is an idea.. use a brush that is not metal. but then again, like BS1 said.. got to be tough to swallow a two inch piece of steel without knowing about it.. hehe, but then again, have you seen teen agers eat??

    good luck dude, hope you recover and are not afraid to chow down on BBQ after this.


  • bootness

    Glad he is ok! @ bs1, you obviously have never seen a teenage boy eat. They are growing fast and just inhale food. It's a wonder they chew at all sometimes. I'm sure he'll take smaller bites in the future!

  • IsNotAm

    The grill must have been nasty to begin with for a bristle to get stuck… Smart thing to do is clean after you're done grilling (while still hot/warm) and clean before you use the next time around.

    A little common sense and culinary hygiene by the grillers would have prevented this…

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