Moscow Mule Copper Mug May Cause Food Poisoning

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

In general, the law prohibits copper from coming in direct contact with foods that have a pH level below six. It conducted a study and concluded using the signature mug for any liquid or food with a pH balance of below 6 could result in food poisoning or copper poisoning.

The threat of poisoning lies not within the drink's mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime, but in the container it's traditionally served in. The spate of headlines was kicked off by an official state health advisory warning that the drink, usually served in a copper mug, poses a health risk if the wrong kind of mug is used.

Most chefs and food scientists already know not to use copper (or copper-plated) pots and pans for acidic recipes like tomato sauce, not only for health reasons but for the ways in which "reactive" cookware can alter the flavor of a recipe. When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food.

Regardless of whether you're a weekly frequenter (or drunken bro-fighter) at Center City Sips, summer imbibers should take note: One of the most summery drinks of all time, the Moscow Mule, could be potentially very harmful - even poisonous - to your immune system.

The new warning was issued as the Mule becomes increasingly popularly in social media with users posting photos of the cocktail in attractive mugs online. Officials cite high concentrations of copper causing possible foodborne illness. In instances of acute copper poisoning, someone who has consumed copper might experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and liver failure.

"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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