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Posted: August 08, 2017

Why the Moscow mule could be poisoning you

By Sandra Nortunen, Palm Beach Post

Cocktail connoisseurs beware. 

If you’re a lover of the fresh, chilled Moscow Mule, check your copper mug. 

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The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division has issued a warning about serving beverages or acidic foods in copper containers.

 High concentrations of copper are poisonous and can cause foodborne illness. When copper and copper alloy surfaces come into contact with acidic foods, the metal can leach into the foods.

The recent popularity of the Moscow Mules, a cocktail typically served in a copper mug, has led to inquiries into the safe use of copper mugs and this beverage.

Iowa and many other states have adopted the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Model Food Code, which prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with foods that have a pH below 6.0, according to a press release from the Iowa ABC. Those liquids include vinegar, fruit juice and wine, as well as lime juice, a key ingredient in many cocktails, including the Moscow Mule.

Copper poisoning can lead to vomiting, gastrointestinal distress and even yellowing of the skin. Chronic copper poisoning can cause liver and kidney damage.

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>> Related: Customers at Virginia Chipotle report illness, suspect norovirus

So, if you’re still up for that mule — made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice — make sure your mug is lined with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel. Otherwise, opt for a tumbler

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