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Drinking out of those popular copper mugs could be poisoning you

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 17:58:41-04

If you drink popular beverages, like Moscow Mules, out of those trendy copper mugs, you could be poisoning yourself.

Health officials are now warning this classic combination could lead to food poisoning, according to KDVR.

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division recently issued an advisory bulletin to establishments that sell and serve alcoholic beverages, warning them not to use copper mugs.

Using copper mugs to serve beverages with a pH balance of below 6.0 could cause copper to leach into the drink, according to an article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The pH of a traditional Moscow Mule, which is made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, is well below 6.0, according to the bulletin.

Other examples of beverages with a pH below 6.0 include fruit juice and wine.

“When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food,” health officials stated in the bulletin. “High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness.”

Health officials said establishments in Iowa may no longer use the signature copper mug to serve the cocktail unless they are lined with another material.

“Mugs that have a copper interior may not be used with this beverage. 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.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, consuming large amounts of copper may cause:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow skin (jaundice)