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14 yr old McDonalds Hamburger will not rot....

If this doesn't turn you away from them, then nothing will.

The lifespan of a hamburger is usually measured in minutes: You get the burger, you scarf the burger, the burger is gone forever. A man from St. George, however, claims that he has a 14-year-old McDonald's burger that still looks like new.

David Whipple said he purchased the burger July 7, 1999 in Logan in order to use it for a demonstration about enzymatic action. He was battling with his weight and was going to show it to a group of fellow weight loss advocates. He let it age for a month and showed it to the group.

"At the little meeting, I showed the hamburger and the pickle, which was just starting to disintegrate," Whipple writes. "There was no decomposition to the meat or bun, nor any mold, fungus or smell. It had no bad odor at all.

The burger, which he says was stuffed into a jacket pocket and tossed into his truck after the meeting, was forgotten about, surviving the summer heat. It was discovered a year or two later in a closet, still in the coat pocket with the original bag and receipt.

"It was purely a fluke about hanging on to it," Whipple said in an interview with

The burger had only a pickle, mustard and ketchup on it, no lettuce or cheese. Only the pickle appeared to decompose much over the years.

It also survived a move from Logan to St. George, where it was discovered in a box in 2007. Whipple even tried selling it on eBay, where it reached about $2,000, but never sold because his daughter bid on the item.

He said it's never been refrigerated or stored in a way that would preserve it. Eventually, he started a blog where he wrote about the burger and periodically posted pictures.

Recently, the burger was featured on the television show "TV Doctors." On Tuesday, the burger went viral.

"This just came out in the last couple of months and it's just been crazy," he said.

Whipple said he isn't sure why it survived so long and can't attribute it to either dehydration or chemical preservatives or something else.

"That's the million-dollar question. They dig up things in King Tut's tomb," he said.

"It's going to take a smarter person than I am to figure that out."

He's also performing a more controlled version of the experiment on cheap burgers from several other burger joints, and so far the results are pretty similar to the accidental one.

"I still got them sitting here, and there'e all hanging out really well. They're doing just fine, just about like the 14-year-old burger does," he said.

Whipple said he thinks the burger's example has had a positive impact on his family's eating habits.

"I honestly believe raising seven kids that having that hamburger around the last 14 years made a difference in my own kids lives."

Nevertheless, he said he doesn't want to turn the hamburger into a cause or a crusade against fast food burgers.

"This has just been fun," he said. "This has just been one of those crazy things."


Asked by LostSoul88 at 9:22 AM on Apr. 24, 2013 in Food & Drink

Level 40 (119,496 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • Oh, I remembered I read that the reason why it didn't decompose is that it was dried out. First McDonald's cooks its patties until they're like shoe soles. They're completely dried out, cooked all the way through (that's what makes them so bad), then the bun is toasted, which dries it even further. Then it was left in cloth and heat, further drying it.
    I don't know if that's right or not, that was McDonald's reply to the rumor

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 8:09 AM on Apr. 25, 2013

  • I've seen it before...and yeah, I occasionally still eat something there

    there are so many things wrong with the food we eat- not just from Mc D's


    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:27 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • I saw this on the local news the other night. I won't eat at McDonald's. I think their food is disgusting. I hadn't eaten it for about 12 years, since I was a kid, until 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest. For some reason chicken nuggets sounded good and I stopped there. I was SO SICK from them. One time in 20 years, I felt horrible, and I would never do that to myself again.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 10:32 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • Uh huh
    I have had McD hambergers left in my car and they rot/ mold just fine.
    That does not mean to imply that they are good for you but ... seriously?

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:11 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • We don't eat at McDonalds. Haven't in years. Our boys tell me they're the only kids in their class that doesn't like it. They took our 10 yr old sons class there after their field trip a couple weeks ago, and he told me he got a salad, and it was horrible, so he just had one of the kids bag of cookies.... It's not that we don't allow it, it's that they don't like it. All we have to do is drive past one, and they say, yuck, it stinks.....I'm thankful our boys hate fast food. (All of them)

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:12 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • Well, I've heard the fries hold up pretty well too. Maybe he should put them in a time capsule or something. I don't know if I want to take 1 guys word for it. We already know from other "experiments" like "Super Size Me", that fast food is bad for us. That's why we choose not to eat it very often. I'd prefer Subway or a pizza on Friday nites myself. :p


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:29 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • If that's true, it's pretty freakin' gross. I usually eat the fish or chicken at McDonald's instead of the beef, but that might not be much better. Once in a while I do crave the fish, but it's mostly because I love the tartar sauce and haven't managed to find any like it in the stores, even though it has been a quest of many years for me. I'd rather have ubway or a pizza, and as soon as my daughter outgrows the HappyMeal toys and the playground, we probably won't eat at McDonald's very often. Even now, it's maybe once a month.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:11 PM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • Don't let this get out into the fashion world. They will start bottling it and selling it or possibly injecting it under the skin.

    Answer by NikkiMomof2grls at 5:29 PM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • Confession: I took the kids to McD's last night and I ate a burger. I am regretting it. I felt sick all night and still this morning (not throw up sick, but upset stomach and intestinal challenges - LOL). I sooooo wish I could have just thrown it up. We hadn't eaten there for a very long time and since we were running late and I had to get the kids fed I stopped there out of convenience. Good LORD! Never again. I'm guessing I haven't had soda in a long time either since the Diet Coke tasted ghastly. Their drinks are a decent price, but if I get a drink there ever again it will probably be water or tea.

    I think I'm going to make a quinoa salad today. Or maybe I will just do a cleanse.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:53 AM on Apr. 24, 2013

  • I once saw a 3yo cheeseburger happy meal a dietician kept in her kitchen. She said her cat and flies never went near it. The fries looked like they had been sitting in a hot car for a few days, and the burger was rock hard.

    The number of preservatives they must use is alarming. I won't touch McD's food except for an occasional biscuit.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:17 AM on Apr. 24, 2013