Immortal Hamburger

Posted this on the Mythbusters forums, but I am told this is just dehydration at work. Some of the commenter appear to think the same thing.

Still there might be some strange voodoo going on. Is it possible for bacteria to have taste preferences… I mean I personally am not a fan of McD’s (or fast food in general), but I still wouldn’t go so far as to make propaganda against them.

Anyway, do you guys agree that this is just dehydration?

It’s cooked beef, I don’t think I’d expect much to happen to it, at least not on a microbial level. Flies OTOH would probably go for it though.

You’ve heard of classes of bacterial, haven’t you?

The bacterial that attack food just have way too much class.

- Jack

Here’s an experiment with a different outcome:
Does fast food rot?

Yes it does.

And yes, the video just shows what happens when food dries out before mold and bacteria have time to start eating.

If you can get it to dry well, meat won’t spoil for ages. Especially when you add salts and the like. That’s what jerky and cured hams are based on.

As for the bread, I assume the bread is one of those “long fresh” type mixtures that may just dry out completely too before spoiling - a box of breadcrumbs will stay “good” for ages too if you keep it dry. Dunno about the fries, but I assumed the same principle applies. Plus, they’re usually very salted.

I also note that this appears to be a plain burger, no sauce or toppings that would add and retain moisture. I’m quite sure that a big mac, for example, will rot quite quickly.

about all of these burger stories is that there is no science behind them. On top of the bizarre conclusions they jump to, “McDonalds food is made of chemicals”, there is no control burger, such as an organic homemade burger dried out next to these McDonalds burgers.
What a great forum though, everyone on here understands. Most forums have about 30 ‘Ugg, I will never eat that chemical laden food again’ comments, for each question of, ‘Maybe it is just dried out, where is the science?’
There is science done on this topic. You can see a scientific burger experiment here, complete with controls, procedure, discussion and conclusions.
As well, there is a very well controlled experiment that is ongoing here, so you can see the results as they happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Stinky Meat Project.

There’s nothing unnatural about it.

McDonald’s hamburgers are salty. Salt is a preservative.

McDonald’s hamburgers are fatty. While fat can go rancid, it doesn’t, by itself, encourage bacterial growth. Enough fat can actually prevent microbes on the food from getting enough moisture.

McDonald’s hamburgers are overcooked. What moisture is in the food has long since vanished on the griddle.

And that’s pretty much it. A McDonald’s burger is a dried out wasteland where bacteria can’t get enough water to survive, but that’s no more unnatural than a crouton.

mmmmm, beef croutons.

Y’know, if someone invented that the consumption of salad in the US would skyrocket.

Bacon bits yummy pork croutons.

Funny I see so many comments bashing this test now, and before they were all anti-McDonalds. Guess we shut them up.

I’ve seen a video like the one in the OP that has a control. I just can’t find it on YouTube at the moment. But I specifically remember the control having so much mold it appeared to actually be green.

They were anti-McDonalds on here? The Dope?

sorry I was referring to youtube.

The 2004 film “Super Size Me” had a little bonus feature on the DVD where they did exactly that - compare several McDonald’s Burgers and fries (in glass jars) with a control burger and fries from a mom and pop store. The results were pretty similar to the “study” in the OP. It’s available on YouTube.
The commentary is a little biased and it focuses a little on the “gross” aspect, but the point is valid, I guess.

ETA: I just saw this video was also linked to in MarkVaughan’s second link.