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Although that Copper Mug is Pretty, It can Give You Food Poisoning

Posted on in Food poisoning attorney
Although that Copper Mug is Pretty, It can Give You Food Poisoning

In recent years, the Moscow Mule, a simple cocktail made of vodka, lime, and ginger beer, has surged in popularity. Restaurants and bars across the nation have made it a menu staple, with many creating their own personalized twists on this recipe that made its initial debut in the 1940s. A key component of a classic Moscow Mule is its copper mug.

Recently, that copper mug has been identified as a potential food poisoning risk. According to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) food code, copper and copper alloys may not be used to hold and serve food and beverages with pH contents lower than six. Liquids that fall into this category include wine, fruit juice, vinegar, and Moscow Mules. Specifically, the risk with drinking from copper mugs is copper poisoning, not food poisoning, but the two can have similar symptoms and long-term complications.

Why are Copper Mugs Harmful?

When acidic materials come into contact with copper and copper alloys, the copper may leach into the food, which can cause illness to the consumer. This occurs when carbon dioxide enters the water supply due to poor backflow prevention between the carbonator and copper plumbing components or once the carbonated ginger beer is in the copper mug.

Symptoms of copper poisoning due to ingesting large amounts of copper include:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal pain; and
  • Jaundice.

When copper fumes or dust are inhaled, the individual can suffer from metal fume fever. Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Chest pain;
  • Chills;
  • Metallic taste in the mouth;
  • Headache; and
  • Fever.

If you or your child experience copper poisoning symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Although acute copper poisoning is rare, it can happen and when it does, the victim can face liver failure.

Only Drink from Lined Copper Mugs

This does not mean that you cannot enjoy your Moscow Mule from a copper mug. It simply means that if you order a Moscow Mule at a bar or make one in your kitchen, be sure to drink it from a copper mug that is lined with another type of metal. The harmful effects of copper leaching can only occur when the beverage comes into direct contact with the copper, so if it is inside a mug linked with stainless steel or another metal or metal alloy, your cocktail is perfectly safe to drink. To be extra careful with your next Moscow Mule, consider drinking it from a glass or a ceramic mug.

Work with an Experienced Rolling Meadows Food Poisoning Attorney

Whether you contract harmful bacteria or dangerous metal elements from food, a beverage, or the vessel in which it is served, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for your food poisoning damages through a personal injury claim. Contact our team of experienced food poisoning attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation with us. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Athena Lam)

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