Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Iowa Issues Warning to Cocktail Drinkers

Iowa Issues Warning to Cocktail Drinkers

The pH of a traditional Moscow Mule is well below 6.0.

You've probably seen copper mugs in bars around the country as a resurgence of the classic cocktail known a Moscow mule has captured drinkers in the U.S.

Mugs aren't the only place where copper might be able to leach into acidic foods.

"High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness", the official bulletin said.

Iowa's health advisory warns that a Moscow Mule drink served in a copper mug could turn acidic enough for it to become a hazard to the person who consumes the drink.

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An advisory bulletin from Iowa's alcoholic beverages division notes that, in keeping with food and drug administration guidelines, copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a PH below 6.

The vodka drink traditionally comes in a copper mug. These items include vinegar, fruit juice and the Moscow mule, the pH level og which falls far below the standard. Copper poisoning can lead to stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting and even yellowing of the skin. Besides posing health threats, using cookware made of reactive metals such as copper, aluminum, iron and steel are also known to have unwanted effect on the food.

It's the shiny copper mug in which the cocktail is typically served.

If the copper mug is lined with another metal, it is safe.

"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.

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