Moscow Mules served in copper mugs may be poisonous

(WGAD) -- Serving Moscow Mules in a solid copper mug is against FDA food code.

An advisory bulletin from Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division said that the popularity of Moscow Mules spawned questions about whether it was safe to use copper mugs with the drink.

Drinks or foods that are under a 6.0 pH are prohibited from coming into contact with copper, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration's Model Food Code. A traditional Moscow Mule's pH "is well below 6.0."

Related: Poisonous foods

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10 Common Foods That Can Be Poisonous
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10 Common Foods That Can Be Poisonous

Check out this slideshow to learn what common edible contains cyanide and which bean could kill you instantly.

Elderberry

While it is a beautiful plant, don't be fooled! This plant, often used in medicinal syrups, sodas and liquors can cause a severely upset stomach if consumed incorrectly.

What to look for:

The flowers are the part of the plant used to make all things elderberry. The stems and various other parts of the plant, when consumed, can cause severe stomach issues. Steer clear!

Mushrooms

Ever heard of toadstools? They are part of the mushroom family, but some toadstools are known for being incredibly poisonous.

What to Look for:

Always stick to mushrooms you can buy at a supermarket.

They should have a flat cap with no bumps, and the gills within the mushroom should either be grey or have a pink hue.

Puffer Fish

If you've ever been fishing or crabbing in the inter-coastal waterways or in the ocean, you may have seen or caught a puffer fish (also known as a blowfish). The eyes and internal organs of puffer fish are highly toxic.

Fun fact: Fugu (the liver) is officially illegal for the Emperor of Japan to eat.

What to look for:

Not much. We recommend steering clear of puffer fish unless they are prepared by a professional chef trained in fugu (yes, such a thing exists). Training to acquire a license in fugu preparation takes two to three years, and only 30% of trainees pass the test.

Castor Oil

Castor oil comes from the castor bean plant. One single castor bean can drop a human to his or her knees. Four can potentially kill a horse. Castor beans are loaded with ricin, a poison. Many field workers who gather the beans today tend to experience negative side effects.

What to look for:

Carefully handled and prepared castor oil. Castor beans undergo strict safety guidelines which must be met in order to place this product on shelves.

Almonds

This commonly devoured seed, often mistaken for a nut, packs a little more punch than we knew. Bitter almonds, when served raw, are full of cyanide. In order to remove the toxins, they must go through a specialized heat treatment. For some countries, such as New Zealand, the risk is far too great, and the delectable treat is off shelves and illegal.

What to look for:

Bitter almonds that have been processed and heated.

Cherries

Often enjoyed raw, in pies or in other popular treats, cherries are another hazardous item on our list. Be wary and cautious of their seeds, which contain hydrogen cyanide.

What to look for:

Cherry seeds that are crushed, chewed or even slightly injured can be a potential threat. Please consume wisely and remember, don't chew on the seeds.

Apples

An apple a day will keep the doctor away. That is, unless you eat too many of the popular fruit's seeds. These seeds also carry cyanide, but it's speculated that the seeds within one apple are not enough to become dangerous.

What to look for:

Be aware of your apple consumption, and be sure to pluck the seeds as you go. Apples are a delicious and healthy snack when prepared properly.

Rhubarb

When we think rhubarb, pies and pudding come to mind. Underrated and easy to grow at home, this plant can be great. However, its leaves contain a double-threat: corrosive acid and an unknown, unidentified poison.

What to look for:

Step away from the leaves and look to the stalk. Make sure they are washed very carefully, and never use frost-bitten stalks.

Tomatoes

Known for their many beneficiary properties, such as Lycopene, tomatoes also contain the poison Glycoalkaloid in their leaves. Glycoalkaloid is known to upset your stomach and cause severe cramping and nervousness.

What to look for:

Avoid the leaves and stems of the tomato plant. They may be used to enhance flavor when preparing dishes, but must be removed before consuming.

Fun fact: Tomatoes, considered a fruit in much of the world, were declared a vegetable by the United States in 1893 for tax purposes.

Potatoes

Potatoes are another vegetable with poisonous stems and leaves. Potato poisoning rarely occurs, but most fatalities have been attributed to eating green potatoes (full of Glycoalkaloid) or drinking potato leaf tea.

What to look for:

Simply put, enjoy the wonderful and tasty crop for what it is (and not for its stem or leaves). Go crazy with baked potatoes, french fries or mashed potatoes, just leave anything green out of it!

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Other examples of foods that have a lower-than-acceptable pH are vinegar, fruit juice and wine.

"High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness," read the bulletin's Public Health Reasoning. "When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food."

While Moscow Mules can't be served in a solid copper mug, they can still be served in mugs that have another metal as an interior, like nickel or stainless steel.

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Muddled sugar plum bee's knees

"In its purest form, this cocktail is smooth and stimulating, and one serving is potent enough to give you a tiny buzz.  I added a muddled plum for sweetness and because they’re just so darn good right now." - JJ Begonia

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Sparkling lemon drop martini

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Summer fruit sangria 

"This crisp summertime white Sangria made with fresh, seasonal fruits and white wine is a classic way to enjoy the warm days. In the pictures shown above and below, I used a variety of strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, basil and lemon." - Seasonally Jane

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Pineapple margarita

"Enter the best margarita recipe ever. The pineapple margarita that is! This tropical drink will have you transported to a pristine beach and sunny skies in no time!" - Endlessly Elated 

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Crushed strawberry margarita

"This drink tastes more like real strawberries and less like bubble gum. It allows you to drink a fruit-flavored cocktail and maintain your dignity. Also muddling the strawberries and lime wedges together smells intoxicating all by itself, just imagine what happens when you add the tequila." - Hola Jalapeno

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