Utah man David Whipple has managed to hang on to a hamburger from McDonald’s since 1999. The extraordinary part isn’t the fact that he didn’t throw the burger out, though — it’s that the burger barely looks like it has aged.
Appearing by phone on the TV show “The Doctors” recently, Whipple explained that the burger was discovered many years ago in his coat pocket, oddly enough. It looked the same then as it does now.
Whipple isn’t the only one to discover this non-rotting burger phenomenon. In 2010, J. Kenji López-Alt conducted a series of tests for Serious Eats to figure out if various burgers would rot over time. He found that “the burger doesn’t rot because its small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there’s no mold or bacterial growth.”
It isn’t just burgers that have a eerily long shelf life, though. Melanie Warner, author of the book Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Foods Took Over the American Meal, conducted several food experiments earlier this year. Her findings? Fast food chicken sandwiches, store-bought guacamole and American cheese can also stand the mold-free test of time. But that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Take a closer look at the hamburger in the video above.