Since January, two instances of people saving McDonald's burgers from the 1990s went viral on the internet because the 20-year-old foods had yet to decompose or decay in any kind of way. In response, McDonald's has issued a statement to the most recent allegations that its food withstands the test of time in an alarming way. And we have to admit, the fast-food giant's reasoning is a bit underwhelming.
"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," McDonald's wrote in a media statement on Monday.
The response comes after TikTok user @aly.sherb posted a video of her grandmother pulling out a 24-year-old hamburger from a shoebox that she kept stashed away in her closet. In the video, she takes the burger out of its original wrapping—showing a few different angles of it—and you can see that there is no visible indication that the burger (or the fries she also kept) rotted or attracted any mold.
Rest assured, McDonald's has responded with this argument, which continues: "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. 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." (Related: This Is Why You Should Never Order a Sundae From McDonald's).
Their statement regarding food made at home certainly tracks, however, the truth remains that we're talking about a burger that was made in 1996. If the meat and bun wasn't pumped with preservatives, wouldn't it have eventually emitted a foul smell, or at the very least, experienced some noticeable discoloration?
We have a lot of questions and, unfortunately, we may never get the real answer—especially after this last claim: "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," McDonald's wrote.
For more, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.