McDonald’s has responded to viral claims its burgers don’t decompose even if they are left untouched for decades.
One video went viral on TikTok showing a woman showing the camera a seemingly like-new burger with the caption: “What happens when you leave a McDonald’s hamburger in a bag for over 20 years.”
The TikTok user claimed her grandmother had been keeping a McDonald’s hamburger inside a box in her closet since 1996.
In the user’s video, the grandmother is seen opening the box to reveal what appears to be a preserved burger.
She also took out some old fries that appeared as if they hadn’t decomposed, either.
The video has been viewed millions of times.
But the fast food giant released a statement on its media portal assuring burger fans their favourite food will rot under the right circumstances.
McDonald’s wrote: “The reality is that our burgers are made only with 100% USDA inspected beef.
“There are no preservatives or fillers in our patties and the only thing ever added is a touch of salt and pepper on the grill.
“In the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose.”
It added: “Look closely, the burgers you are seeing are likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means ‘the same as the day they were purchased’.”
But the TikTok video isn’t the first time it has been claimed the burgers don’t compose.
David Whipple claimed he bought a burger from his local McDonald’s in 1999.
It was for use in a demonstration about nutrition, so once the lecture was over he shoved the burger in his pocket and forgot about it.
In Utah in the US, where David lives, 1999 was a long hot summer so he didn’t have much need for his jacket.
So he “kind of forgot about” it and the burger– leaving them in the back of his car.
David, now 70, said he’s had some trouble hanging onto the vintage burger over the years. Like the time he took his burger into a local radio station.
“The station wanted to actually eat the burger,” he told Popular Mechanics.
“But I told them that I wouldn’t hand it over, especially because I thought someone might die if they ate it.”
Instead, David hung onto his antique snack.
He said it hasn’t rotted or decomposed in any way – and doesn’t even smell.
“You have to really get close to it,” David said.
“And even then, it doesn’t smell like food. It smells like old cardboard.”
Anne Christensen, Director of Field Brand Reputation for McDonald’s, said that’s not such a shock though.
She said: “Without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment – bacteria and mould may not grow and therefore, decomposition is unlikely.
“So if food is or becomes dry enough, it is unlikely to grow mould or bacteria or decompose.”
She added: “Food prepared at home that is left to dehydrate could see similar results.”