Your Favorite Cocktail Might Be Poisoning You

Iowa Issues Warning to Cocktail Drinkers

When copper interacts with acidic substances, it can be leached into it, giving the imbiber copper poisoning.

Moscow Mules go down easy any time of the year, but the classic cocktail is said to be having a moment this summer.

Vodka, ginger beer and lime, thrown in a copper mug and make a Moscow mule. Public health officials warned that using those mugs could have unwanted health consequences.

Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division recently issued an advisory bulletin warning against serving beverages in copper mugs.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines - adopted by multiple states, including Iowa - prohibit copper from coming into direct with foods like vinegar, fruit juice or wine that have a pH below 6.0. In extreme cases, copper poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and liver failure.

Copper is commonly used for kitchenware like pots and pans, but it can be unsafe. "Sudden (acute) copper poisoning is rare", says the National Institute of Health. Copper pots, for instance, can alter the flavor of the recipe.

Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media.

The Alcoholic Beverages Division reminds businesses they can not serve Moscow Mules in mugs with a copper interior.

Some bars serve them out of mugs that are manufactured to look like copper, but are actually made of stainless steel and are safe to drink from.

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