Why McDonald’s Says Their Food Doesn’t Spoil


Chances are, if you’ve ever Googled “McDonald’s burger”, a picture of a new burger alongside a few years old burger would probably show up. And usually the picture of the old burger is only slightly different than the new burger, leaving many with the question as to why burgers from the number one franchise don’t decompose.

Other experiments involving the fast-food giant’s fare have sparked a kind of  urban myth about McDonald’s food—but is it true?

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In a series of posts on its website, McDonald’s answers customers’ frequently asked questions about its food in the U.S., including “Why doesn’t your food rot?”

The answer? “In the right environment, our burgers, fries and other menu items could decompose,” McDonald’s maintains.

The company goes on to detail just what kind of environment food needs to rot:

“The reason our food may appear not to decompose comes down to a matter of simple science. In order for decomposition to occur, 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. 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.”

The post appears amid increased emphasis from McDonald’s about the quality of its ingredients. On its recent earnings call, CEO Don Thompson stressed that it has “freshly prepared products.”

READ: Menu Items That Restaurant Workers Won’t Even Eat

While McDonald’s fries are still considered the favorite among burger joints all over the world, many have equated the fact that the food doesn’t decompose as a sign of it being unhealthy. Take an assessment of your own body: how do you feel while eating it? After eating it?

As with many things, only time will tell.


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