A man from Utah invited KUTV News into his home for a special unveiling of a hamburger from McDonald’s that he’s had for over two decades. David Whipple unveiled his twenty-year-old hamburger for the first time in six years. What’s even more strange about it is that the burger, kept in a Big Mac tin, literally doesn’t look like it would be any older than a day or two.
This burger was initially bought on July 7th, 1999 in Logan, Utah. Initially, Whipple bought the burger to use as an example in presentations about enzymes and deterioration. “It got stuck in a coat pocket. The coat got thrown in the back of my van, and I guess it just got hung up on our closet in Logan. Subsequently we moved from Logan to St. George, Utah, and it stayed there for a couple years and I think my wife was giving the coat away or something and found it,” Whipple recounted.
KUTV previously interviewed the man in 2013 when he first discovered the hamburger. He’s kept it in the Big Mac tin since. KUTV said that it still looked the same and didn’t smell like much aside from cardboard.
McDonald’s Utah has since issued a statement regarding the sandwich and its current state. Barbara Schmiett, McDonald’s Rep, suggested the reason the burger didn’t decompose was that it was hidden away in a tin.
In the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose. As the story alludes to — in order to decompose, 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. Similarly, this particular burger is likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means the same as the day it was purchased. The reality is our burgers are made with 100% USDA inspected beef. There are no preservatives or fillers in our patties and the only thing every added is a touch of salt and pepper on the grill.