McDonald’s Burger Looks the Same – 14 Years Later

Well, that can’t be good for your health.

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Well, that can’t be good for your health.

A Utah man claims he has held onto a McDonald’s hamburger for 14 years – and it looks the same today as when he first bought it in 1999, the Daily Mail reported.

Originally an experiment to show friends how enzymes work in preserving food, David Whipple kept the burger for a month before forgetting about it.  “It ended up in a paper sack, in the original sack with the receipt in my coat pocket, tossed in the back of my truck and it sat there for, I don’t know, two or three months,” Whipple told the hosts of the daytime talk show The Doctors.

(MORE: In New Ad, McDonald’s Compares Loving Big Macs with Mental Illness)

Whipple’s coat was then moved to his closet, where it was left until his wife dug up the coat and burger a “year or two” later, Gawker noted.  “We pulled it out and said, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe it looks the same way,’ ”Whipple said.

There were no signs of mold or fungus on the burger, but it felt hard, according to The Doctors’ hosts.  The only thing that had changed over the years was that the pickle had disintegrated, leaving an imprint on the burger’s bun, the Daily Mail pointed out.

According to Grist, McDonald’s has its own explanation for what’s happened to the burger — one that science seems to support:

In the example of a McDonald’s hamburger, the patty loses water in the form of steam during the cooking process. The bun, of course, is made out of bread. Toasting it reduces the amount of moisture. This means that after preparation, the hamburger is fairly dry. When left out open in the room, there is further water loss as the humidity within most buildings is around 40%. So in the absence of moisture or high humidity, the hamburger simply dries out, rather than rot.

After seeing the burger’s rather pristine condition, Whipple decided to continue preserving it.  According to Gawker, he nearly sold it on eBay once for $2,000, but decided it was better to hold onto for “posterity’s sake.”

He now shows the sandwich to his grandchildren to encourage them to eat healthy.  “It’s great for my grandkids to see,” he said.  “To see what happens with fast food.”

MORE: McDonald’s French Fries – Top 10 Iconic Junk Foods

4 comments
ruraynor
ruraynor

So what about all the food that's been found intact on archaeological sites? You want to argue that the Egyptians had chemical preservatives? Food, when kept away from moisture and animals will not rot, just like any other organic material.

KathyJohnson
KathyJohnson

I'm a chemist and the meat simply turned into jerky. McDonald's does not put preservatives in their beef. Good grief.

just4fun91
just4fun91

Perhaps modern science has forgotten the ancient method of food preservation called dehydration.  Had the burger's moisture been saved by putting it into a plastic bag, this thing would be a moldy soup.

But why mention that when people will ooh and aah and say it is because the burger had preservatives added to it.

That's called sensationalism, which makes good TV and sells advertising.