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Officials warn against drinking Moscow mules from copper mugs

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For the uninitiated, a Moscow Mule has vodka, ginger beer, and lime, and thus is acidic, explains Live Science.

It says copper mugs with an inner lining of another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel, are safe to use and are widely available. Examples of foods with a pH below 6 also include vinegar, fruit juice and wine, according to the notice.

However, while the cocktail looks and tastes great, a warning from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division suggests the mugs may actually be unsafe to use for the Moscow mule.

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, high concentrations of copper are poisonous and can cause foodborne illness if the copper it comes into contact with acidic foods.

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Bars around Iowa are doing away with those shiny signature Moscow Mule mugs thanks to a recently adopted law. Foods that are acidic (pH lower than 6.0) can corrode the copper and cause the metal alloys to mix in the food or liquids.

"The objective 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.

Or, to be more exact, the copper cup that the drinks are traditionally served in might be. National Library of Medicine, consuming large amounts of copper can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and yellow skin (jaundice).

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