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.
The Alcoholic Beverages Division of the State of Iowa is concerned with the interaction of those contents with the copper mug and issued an advisory bulletin in late July to warn of potential health risks.
Health officials said establishments in Iowa can no longer use the signature copper mug to serve the cocktail unless they are lined with another material. The warning reiterates guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration that state copper should not be in contact with acidic food with pH below six. That includes liquids like fruit juice, vinegar, wine and Moscow Mule cocktails. The US National Library of Medicine notes, "large amounts of copper from unlined cookware can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea".
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Officials stated that using copper mugs to serve beverages with a pH balance below 6.0 could cause copper to leach into the drink.
Not all copper mugs, however, are poisonous.
Copper poisoning, similarly to lead or other metal poisoning, occurs after a period of exposure. A different interior should line the inside of the cup, such as stainless steel and nickel. If you search for mule mugs on Amazon, numerous top sellers are unlined pure copper.