Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Officials warn against drinking Moscow mules from copper mugs

Officials warn against drinking Moscow mules from copper mugs

According to food poisoning attorney Bill Marler, it would take years to ingest a risky amount of copper by drink drinking Moscow Mules alone. Here's why copper and alcoholic beverages should not mix.

"The pH of a traditional Moscow Mule is well below 6.0", the ABD said of the drink typically made with lime juice, vodka and ginger beer.

Right now, the use of copper mugs is only limited in a few states, including Iowa and Wisconsin. Public health officials warned that using those mugs could have unwanted health consequences.

According to an advisory bulletin published late last month from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, copper mugs may be poisoning drinkers. Examples of these acidic foods include fruit juice, wine, vinegar - and Moscow Mules.

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Copper is commonly used for kitchenware like pots and pans, but it can be unsafe. Because the pH level is so low in mule, the copper may leach into the drink and cause illness.

"The goal of this bulletin is to advise licensees and permittees selling and serving alcoholic beverages in copper mugs of the applicable federal guidance and state regulations regarding the use of copper and copper alloys in contact with food and beverages", the statement reads. "However, copper mugs lined on the interior with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel, are allowed to be used and are widely available", officials said.

Copper poisoning, similarly to lead or other metal poisoning, occurs after a period of exposure. The long-term effects of copper poisoning also include liver damage or cirrhosis.

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