A newspaper editor has been saving a McDonald’s hamburger and pie in his desk for years, and neither of the food items has appeared to rot.
Marshall V. King, the managing editor of Indiana newspaper The Elkhart Truth, said he stashed the old burger in his desk on July 2, 2009.
“I’d seen someone with an aged hamburger at a Farm Bureau event and always wanted to do my own experiment,” King wrote in a column Sunday.
About two years later, a couple of coworkers gave him a McDonald’s Holiday Pie, and he added it to his collection.
“The patty shrank. The bun dried. But neither got moldy,” he wrote. “Five years later, it looks about the same as it did a few weeks after I bought it: like an air hockey puck with a dried-out bun. With a faint smell of beef.”
King shared photos of the years-old McDonald’s meals with Business Insider. The Holiday Pie is described on McDonald’s website as “creamy smooth, vanilla custard nestled in a flaky, buttery crust glazed with sugar and topped with rainbow sprinkles.” Three years after it was purchased, it doesn’t look more than a couple days old.
The burger looks shrunken and dry, but otherwise fine.
Stories about McDonald’s hamburgers that last years before rotting are frequently cited as evidence that fast food is loaded with preservatives.
McDonald’s USA offers another explanation.
“In the right environment, our burgers, fries and other menu items could decompose. The reason our food may appear not to decompose comes down to a matter of simple science. In order for decomposition to occur, you need certain conditions — specifically moisture.
Without sufficient moisture — either in the food itself or the environment — bacteria and mould may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely. So if food is or becomes dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mould or bacteria or decompose. Food prepared at home that is left to dehydrate could see similar results.
Look closely, the burgers you are seeing are likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means ‘the same as the day they were purchased.'”
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