TORONTO -- Health Canada says it is conducting an investigation into the safety of wire-bristle brushes used to clean barbecues.

The agency says the risk assessment is looking at safety concerns around the brushes and whether any sort of regulatory actions are needed for them.

Health Canada says it has received reports of nine injuries since 2011 that have been attributed to the brushes.

The agency's website warns that there is a risk of bristles getting lodged in food and swallowed, especially with older brushes.

It advises throwing away brushes if the bristles are loose.

Home Hardware, which sells barbecue wire brushes, says it hasn't heard of the assessment from Health Canada but will be watching for the results of the agency's investigation.