There’s long been talk of fast-food that doesn’t age like real food. The press is bad enough for McDonald’s to push a PR campaign claiming its food does, in fact, rot. Putting that claim to the test, the people of Buzzfeed put seven hamburgers from seven different restaurants in glass jars to see what they looked like after 30 days.
Best or worst, depending on whether you think food should act like food and get moldy, is Burger King’s hamburger: the aftermath of 30 days is that of mold-on-mold action, the bun a splendid pale green with a bright, other-worldly splotch of yellow adorning the surface. The video includes a nice close-up of the burger, so showing connective-tissue-like mold, threading bun and burger together.
Umami Burger and Wendy’s both germinated spots of mold; Carl’s Jr. and Jack In The Box sprouted a mere blemish or two (you could probably slice those bits out and they would be just fine); In-N-Out transformed into a weird dark gray thing with black speckles; and McDonald’s won/lost this competition with no discernible appearance of spoiled meat or bun.
No molding after 30 days is pretty eerie. The McDonald’s website even addresses this concern with the following Q&A:
Question: “Why doesn’t your food rot?”
Answer: “Actually, it can. Food needs moisture in the air for mold to form. Without it, food will simply dry out—sort of like bread left out on a counter overnight to make croutons for stuffing. You might have seen experiments which seem to show no decomposition in our food. Most likely, this is because the food has dehydrated before any visible deterioration could occur.”
Maybe the operative word is “can”? Regardless, McDonald’s burger does not hold up well compared to its competition.