mcdonalds happy meal

6-Year-Old Happy Meal Photo Goes Viral, Food Looks Nearly The Same As The Day It Was Made At McDonald’s

A 6-year-old Happy Meal photo nearly broke the internet. Jennifer Lovdahl, a mom from Alaska, posted the image of the McDonald’s Happy Meal on Facebook. The social media post included a copy of the receipt from the day it was made still attached to the kid’s meal box.

The 6-year-old Happy Meal appeared to have changed very little from the day it was made at McDonald’s on January 8, 2010.

Here’s an excerpt Jennifer Lovdahl’s 6-year-old Happy Meal Facebook photo post.

“It has not rotted, moulded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this ‘food’ is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, celery. Those are real fast food.”

The photo of the 6-year-old McDonald’s Happy Meal photo showed four chicken nuggets and an order of French fries. Jennifer Lovdahl’s Facebook post has been shared more than 230,000 times, Business Insider notes.

There has been no confirmation, other than the receipt attached to the Facebook photo, that the Happy Meal is truly six years old.

The now-viral social media post is not the first time that food from McDonald’s has been part of a long-term experiment. Last year, a man from Iceland shared photos via social media that depicted a hamburger and an order of fries he said he bought from McDonald’s on October 31, 2009.

High levels of sodium in the McDonald’s food has been noted as the cause of the long-term preservation of the Iceland hamburger and fries and the 6-year-old Happy Meal.

“There have been a lot of online videos and photos touting the fact that when left out for an extended period of time, a McDonald’s hamburger does not rot and that this is because they are laden with chemicals,” said Dr. Keith Warriner of the University of Guelph Department of Food Science and Quality Assurance. “In the example of a McDonald’s hamburger, the patty loses water in the form of steam during the cooking process.”

Dr. Warriner’s comments shared on the McDonald’s Canada website also noted that the restaurant’s hamburger gun is made out of bread and that moisture is lost during the toasting process. He stated that after preparation, the hamburger is fairly dry and when left out at room temperature, there is further water loss. According to the doctor, the humidity in most rooms is about 40 percent. When left in a space where there is a lack of moisture, the hamburger does not rot but dries out.

A release from McDonald’s had this to say about the preservation of the 6-year-old Happy Meal.

“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 mold may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely. So if food is or becomes dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mold 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.'”

What do you think about the 6-year-old Happy Meal from McDonald’s photo and the explanation from the fast food chain?

[Image via UrbanBuzz/]