McDonald’s Cheeseburger Found Five Years After It Was Purchased, Perfectly Preserved

Megan Condry, from Washington DC, had bought a cheeseburger from McDonald’s five years ago. At the time, she had wanted to do a little experiment by leaving the burger in her cupboard, but ended up forgetting it. Recently, Condry accidentally found the cheeseburger exactly where she left it, which was in her cupboard.

Condry told the NY Post that she knocked over the box the burger was in while sorting through her Christmas decorations. According to her, the burger was odorless and looked like it hadn’t changed at all since the day she bought it.

There was, however, a noticeable difference between the 5 year old cheeseburger and the fresh burgers. According to Condry, the cheeseburger was very hard, as hard as a hockey puck.

Burgers that don’t break down?

Aside from Condry, several consumers have already commented that McDonald’s burgers don’t rot when stored under specific conditions. For its part, McDonald’s has denied rumors that food coming from them never rots.

According to the company’s explanation, just like most foods, their burgers can also rot when placed in an environment conducive to decomposition. For a food to decompose, there must be enough moisture in the food itself or in the environment. Bacteria and mold can grow in this way. Regarding the case of the 5-year-old cheeseburger, the fact that it is completely dried out demonstrates that bacteria and mold could not have developed there to allow decomposition.

For McDonald’s, the parched, dehydrated burger looks nothing like the day it was purchased.

It’s all about the water

To understand why McDonald’s burgers don’t rot the same way as other burgers, Serious Eats blog culinary consultant J. Kenji López-Alt conducted a series of experiments. He first looked at the contents of the galette and the bun and was able to rule out the preservatives. He then tested McDonald’s burgers and other burgers of the same shape and size before storing them for quite a long time.

Following his experiments, López-Alt said that water activity may explain why a McDonald’s hamburger does not rot. He explained that the McDonald’s burger has a very high surface area to volume ratio, given that it is small and thin. On the other hand, it is cooked on a particularly hot plate. These factors then lead to a rapid loss of water content, so that drying out occurs long before decomposition.

The hygienic environment in which the burgers are cooked also plays a role. Since the burgers are cooked at a very high temperature, it is effectively impossible for bacteria or decomposition agents to initially be there.

The culinary consultant concluded that McDonald’s burgers may break down in a more typical way when in a humid environment. He added that other burgers that are the same shape and size as McDonald’s burgers might as well be stored the same way.


Leave a Comment