Somebody posted a photo of 10-year-old McDonald's food that still hasn't rotted and the Internet can't believe it.
On an uploaded photo of a hamburger and a box of fries, the Reddit user wrote, “This girl I know bought this McDonald's Cheeseburger and fries 10 years ago this month. It looks fresh out of the drive thru.”
While there was some disagreement over exactly how fresh the food looked (“yeah... that does not look fresh...” was the top-voted comment), there's no denying that the food doesn't look like it has been sitting there since 2006.
And thankfully, a note next to the food in the photo warns us: “Purchased April 2006. Never refrigerated! Do not eat!”
But this is not a new phenomenon. As Snopes pointed out, claims of McDonald's burgers not rotting after several years have been around since 2008, when somebody posted about a burger they purchased in 1996 showed few signs of decomposition. And more recently, in February, a woman named Jennifer Lovdahl posted on Facebook about her 6-year-old hamburger.
“It's been 6 years since I bought this 'Happy Meal' at McDonald's. It's been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!!” Lovdahl wrote. “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.”
Speculation about why McDonald's food preserves the way it does has even caused McDonald's to address the situation on its website. In a frequently asked questions section on the corporate website, “Why does't your food rot?” is asked.
“Actually, it can,” McDonald's answers. “Food needs moisture in the air for mold to form. Without it, food will simply dry out – sort of like bread left out on a counter overnight to make croutons for stuffing.”
As for those photos of videos with McDonald's food lasting seemingly forever, McDonald's addresses that, too.
“You might have seen experiments which seem to show no decomposition in our food. Most likely, this is because the food has dehydrated before any visible deterioration could occur,” the corporate giant explains.
But there is something special about McDonald's burgers. Buzzfeed did a test to see how McDonald's and other fast food burgers aged. In 30 days, most of the burgers showed mold and other forms of decomposition, but the McDonald's burger looked almost new.