14-Year-Old Burger Goes Viral, McDonald’s Responds

The 14-year-old burger that went viral this week has caught the attention of McDonald’s.

David Whipple said he intended to keep his hamburger for a month to see what would happen. When he discovered the foodstuff several years later, he was surprised that the burger didn’t show any signs of rotting. In fact, the item looked like it had just been served yesterday.

McDonald’s claims the reason for the 14-year-old burger’s appearance is simple: the food was “fairly dry” when it was made.

The fast food chain said in a statement:

“In the example of cooking 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 percent. So in the absence of moisture or high humidity, the hamburger simply dries out, rather than rot.”

Whipple said that he ordered the hamburger with a pickle, mustard, and ketchup back in 1999. Although the pickle was started to rot after a few days, the Utah resident said “there was no decomposition to the meat or bun, nor any mold, fungus or smell.”

“It had no bad odor at all,” he added.

The man stated in an interview on Tuesday that he never refrigerated the burger during the 14 years it remained in his home. He said that he couldn’t immediately explain why the McDonald’s hamburger hadn’t changed during that time.

“That’s the million-dollar question. They dig up things in King Tut’s tomb. It’s going to take a smarter person than I am to figure that out,” Whipple explained.

Although the 14-year-old burger didn’t rot over this span of time, McDonald’s said its food should be eaten shortly after it is purchased.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

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