Moscow mule copper mugs may be poisoning drinkers

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Moscow Mules are traditionally served in a copper mug, but health officials warn the classic combination could lead to food poisoning.

This means that copper mugs that have a copper interior may not be used with this beverage.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says the copper from the mugs can be leached into food.

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Fortunately for Moscow mule enthusiasts - there is a way to indulge in the beverage with the unique copper cup. Officials cite high concentrations of copper causing possible foodborne illness. These items include vinegar, fruit juice and the Moscow mule, the pH level og which falls far below the standard. Since the Moscow Mule started becoming a thing at every suburban barbecue sometime in the mid-20th century, the drink's copper mug - used for its ability to keep drinks chilled, boost the taste and add more bubbles to the carbonated beer for optimum fizziness - has been a key part of the equation. Foods that are acidic (pH lower than 6.0) can corrode the copper and cause the metal alloys to mix in the food or liquids.

Food experts have long known not to use copper, or copper-related pots and pans for cooking acidic recipes such as tomato sauce. The statement said that those with inner linings that use a different metal such as stainless steel or nickel are safe to drink from.

"In poisonings from a long-term buildup of copper in the body, the outcome depends on how much damage there is to the body's organs", the NIH said. In instances of acute copper poisoning, someone who has consumed copper might experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and liver failure.

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