(Mirror Daily, United States) – Recent studies have shown that copper cocktail mugs are bad for the health as they might cause foodborne illnesses. It is widely thought that high concentrations of copper are released into food when acidic food comes into contact with copper and copper alloys such as brass. Symptoms of copper poisoning may include stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting, and in some cases, yellowing of the skin.
Copper Cocktail Mugs to Carry Hidden Health Risks
Iowa is one of many states that have taken action against copper and its alloys by adopting the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Model Food Code. This prohibits copper from coming into direct contact with any foods that have a pH level below 6.0. While a traditional Moscow Mule is typically served in copper cocktail mugs, its pH is well below 6.0.
However, Moscow Mules are not the only drinks that should never be served in copper drinking mugs. For example, vinegar, fruit juice, and wine have a pH well below 6.0 and should be consumed from a container lined with copper. Also included in the ban is copper tubing and plumbing used during the pre – fermentation and fermentation processes in brewpubs and microbreweries. During such processes, the copper comes into contact with beer that has a pH lower than 6.
However, when copper equipment is not used during the brewing process, it is common to add copper and zinc to provide essential nutrients that promote the growth of yeast. In turn, this is key to fermentation.The process of adding copper to the fermentation process is extremely delicate, as it has been found that exceeding a copper level above 0.2 mg/L is toxic to yeast. But remarkably, copper levels as low as 3.5 mg/L have been reported to induce symptoms of copper poisoning in humans.
It is noted in the health warning that copper mugs lined with other metals such as stainless steel or nickel are considered safe. While the risk of copper poisoning remains, it would be best to check that your next Moscow Mule is served in a stainless steel – lined mug.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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