McDonalds Burgers: to rot or not to rot?

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McDonalds Burgers: to rot or not to rot?

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:06 pm UTC

McDonald's Burgers do indeed rot, despite popular myth. This is one of those popular things people always say or read, but very rarely ever test themselves. What made this more pervasive is that people that did test it would see that the burgers did not rot. However, I had never heard of anyone testing a control group, or trying different environments. It was really interesting to me.

Here is the conclusion spoilered if you want a TLDR
The Conclusion

So there we have it! Pretty strong evidence in favor of Theory 3: the burger doesn't rot because it's small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there's no mold or bacterial growth. Of course, that the meat is pretty much sterile to begin with due to the high cooking temperature helps things along as well. It's not really surprising. Humans have known about this phenomenon for thousands of years. After all, how do you think beef jerky is made?

Now don't get me wrong—I don't have a dog in this fight either way. I really couldn't care less whether or not the McDonald's burger rotted or didn't. I don't often eat their burgers, and will continue to not often eat their burgers. My problem is not with McDonald's. My problem is with bad science.

For all of you McDonald's haters out there: Don't worry. There are still plenty of reasons to dislike the company! But for now, I hope you'll have it my way and put aside your beef with their beef.

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Re: McDonalds Burgers: to rot or not to rot?

Postby Tirian » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

I've got to say that I have always been skeptical of this claim. What benefit would McD's have to go out of their way to make their food spoilage-proof? The duration from deep freeze to the customer's stomach is measured in hours. The rumor that Twinkies can last for decades at least passes the giggle test.

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Re: McDonalds Burgers: to rot or not to rot?

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:49 pm UTC

From the sounds of it, the patty just turns into...some kind of chemical...jerky...thing.
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Re: McDonalds Burgers: to rot or not to rot?

Postby Rinsaikeru » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:53 pm UTC

Any small enough food substance won't mold simply because it dries out before it can do that. I learned that in grade 5 when I had to try to grow mold on bread (I also learned that presliced bread is generally awful at moulding in general...).
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