A Mother's Day barbecue landed a Kirkland woman in surgery after a bristle from a metal brush became lodged in her throat when she bit into a hamburger.

“One of the last bites of my burger, I swallowed and it kind of stuck, and I just thought I didn't chew my food properly,” said Lisa Spour.

That wasn’t the case.

“Every time I swallowed, I had a shooting pain in my throat,” she said.

A tiny bristle, just 1.5 centimetres long, became lodged in her throat after it became dislodged from a barbecue brush.

Spour had to undergo surgery at the Montreal General Hospital to have it removed.

Her son Mitch, who made the meal, said he didn't even realize what had happened.

“We put six burgers on the plate in the middle. If I had grabbed the one on the right instead of the left, it's in my throat,” he said.

The MUHC said it is seeing a rise in the number of these cases, adding that tiny bristles can cause major damage.

“Your throat, your esophagus, you can even aspirate it into your lungs. They become lodged there. Not only are they painful, they can cause serious infections locally and be very challenging to remove,” said Dr. Karen Kost.

At Joey Services in Pierrefonds, it's not the first time owner Eric Feigin has heard a similar story.

He said there are alternatives, including wooden bristle-free brushes.

If you do use a wire brush, the best advice is to clean the grill again after brushing to be sure there's nothing left behind.

“You can take lemon juice from a lemon, wash it off on the grill, after you can use a ball of tin foil. Rub it up and down on the grill that will take bristles off if you think there's any there,” said Feigin.

Joey Services still sells metal brushes but they do give a warning to customers.

They say it sells because it's the cheapest model, but the popularity is dwindling.

“We deter people from buying it, but if they want to buy it I would say every plastic brush that we don't want to sell, we sell 100 of the other ones,” said Feigin.

Spour is recovering and said she is only using a wooden brush from now on.