A man in Utah has undertaken an experiment over the past several years in what he describes as fun. He bought a McDonald’s hamburger in 1999 and says it is still looking like it did when purchased.
According to KSL News, David Whipple says he bought the burger from McDonald’s on July 7, 1999 to use for a demonstration about enzymatic action to a group of weight loss advocates he was involved with. His plan was to save the burger for a month and then display it.
“At the little meeting, I showed the hamburger and the pickle, which was just starting to disintegrate,” Whipple writes. “There was no decomposition to the meat or bun, nor any mold, fungus or smell. It had no bad odor at all.”
After the meeting, he put the burger into the pocket of his jacket and then forgot all about it. The jacket was described as sitting in his truck all summer. Eventually the jacket was put into a closet and the burger was long forgotten after that earlier meeting.
A year or two later he discovered the burger, along with the bag and original receipt still in his pocket. The meat, mustard and ketchup were said to be looking new. A portion of the burger’s pickle had decomposed some more while in the pocket.
Years later he stumbled upon the burger again after the family moved. He still has the burger today in 2013. According to Whipple, he never refrigerated it or stored it in any location that would have preserved a perishable item.
Once he even tried selling it on eBay, but his daughter bid on the item. Bids had reached $2,000.
Since the burger remained in the family, he decided to keep tabs on it as a fun experiment. He even began to blog about it, sharing pictures to his readers. Fourteen years later, he still has the burger and says it still looks the same as it did back in 1999, save for the missing parts of a pickle.
After a while, it got a lot of attention and he recently appeared on the television show “The Doctors”.
According to Business Insider, McDonald’s has responded to this phenomenon in previous incidents. Whipple isn’t the first person to claim the fast food giant’s hamburgers do not break down or rot.
“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,” McDonald’s explains. “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.”
McDonald’s also had released a statement (courtesy WebProNews) that said:
“McDonald’s hamburger patties in the U.S. are made with 100% USDA-inspected beef. They are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else — no preservatives — no fillers. Our hamburger buns are made from North American-grown wheat flour. These are the same foods that people buy every day in their local grocery stores.”
Whipple is reportedly currently also experimenting with burgers from other fast food chains.