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Moscow mule copper mugs may be toxic, officials say

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Iowa Issues Warning to Cocktail Drinkers

The cocktail drink only uses a few ingredients namely vodka, lime, ginger beer and ice but it is often served in copper mugs. Officials cite high concentrations of copper causing possible foodborne illness.

The notice, which comes from the Alcoholic Beverages Division of Iowa's food and beverage regulatory body, points out that the traditional Moscow mule is hazardous if served in direct contact with copper.

A Moscow Mule cocktail served up in a copper mug.

"When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food", health officials stated.

Folks might not think about the pH level of their Moscow Mule or other beverages when serving drinks in fancy copper cups, but since the Moscow Mule has a pH level well below 6.0, the copper mug should be avoided.

Copper is commonly used for kitchenware like pots and pans, but it can be unsafe.

Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice, according to the U.S.

Not all copper mugs, however, are poisonous. The state allows some copper mugs which have metal or stainless steel linings inside.

The National Institutes of Health said that while sudden acute copper poisoning occurs rarely, long term exposure to copper may result in serious health problems such as liver failure and even death.

"You're at more risk for alcohol consumption", Marler said.

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