A man stored a cheeseburger and fries in a glass cabinet for a decade, and still, does look edible.
In 2009, the fast-food chain closed down all three of its restaurants in Iceland, and Hjortur Smarason decided to buy one final burger and fries.
Smarason said that he purchased one last time at McDonald’s so the meal could live on.
“I had heard that McDonald’s never decompose, so I just wanted to see if it was true or not,” Smarason said.
Initially, Smarason kept the burger and fries in a plastic bag in his garage.
After three years, just as he expected, Smarason noticed that the food is still intact. So, he donated the meal to the National Museum of Iceland.
Unfortunately, the museum declined and said that they weren’t equipped to preserve the meal and returned it back to him.
“I think they [the museum] was wrong because this hamburger preserves itself,” Smarason said.
The food was then transferred and kept at a different hostel in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, before being moved to its current home, the Snotra House—a hostel in southern Iceland.
Because of its proven lasting shelf life, the happy meal is now stored in a glass cabinet in Snotra House.
“The old guy is still there, feeling quite well,” Siggi Sigurdur, the hostel’s owner, told BBC News. “It’s a fun thing, of course, but it makes you think about what you are eating.”
“There is no mold, it’s only the paper wrapping that looks old.”
Sigurdur said that people from around the world often paid a visit to the hostel just to see the indestructible burger and fries.
10 years later, the final burger and fries that he bought have no signs of molds or decay.
Just like any other processed food product, lots of McDonald’s meals include added preservatives to the ingredients to prolong their shelf life. This saves them money which means people buy their meals for a cheaper price.
McDonald’s said it adds preservatives “only when absolutely necessary, to ensure the food is safe to eat”.
“They will be used, for example, to prevent our bread and cheese from going moldy and our pickles from spoiling,” McDonald’s explained.
In September 2018, McDonald’s in the United States announced that its seven classic burgers were preservative-free, with reformulated sauces and buns. The menu items include the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, and Double Quarter Pounder.