A TikTok user’s video shows her grandmother unwrapping a McDonald’s hamburger and fries that is said to have been kept in a shoebox since 1996 – the year Diana and Charles divorced, and the Spice Girls made their debut
A grandmother has unboxed a McDonald’s burger and fries that she claims to have kept in her closet for 24 years – and they’re still intact.
A TikTok user named Aly Sherb recently shared a video of his gran showing off the meal that she says she has kept in a shoebox at her home in the US since 1996.
The caption for the clip, viewed more than three million times, reads: “What happens when you leave a McDonalds hamburger in a bag for over 20 years?”
The food doesn’t look fresh, but it doesn’t look like it was cooked in the same year that saw Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorce, the Spice Girls release their debut song Wannabe, and Alan Shearer become the most expensive footballer in the world.
In the TikTok video, the grandmother picks up a white shoebox – which has “Hamburger” written on the side” – and holds it up to the camera.
She tells her granddaughter: “So, you want to see my hamburger? It was in a box in my closet.”
As she opens the box, she holds a paper bag that she claims the meal was served in, pointing to an advert for Nascar races in 1996.
“This dates the hamburger, and it’s 24-years-old now,” she said.
The woman then picks up a small white bag containing fries, and dumps some of them into her hand.
She tells the camera: “These French fries look like they maybe could have fallen under your seat a month or so ago.
“They’ve never rotted or decayed.”
She then reaches inside the bag, pulls out the hamburger and removes it from its wrapper.
As she takes the burger apart to show the camera, she says: “The hamburger itself, the bread has never moulded.
“The meat has never rotted. It’s never even broken. It’s completely intact.”
As her granddaughter laughs behind the camera, she adds: “So, a 24-year-old hamburger. Not sure what would happen if you ate it, though.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson in the US said: “In the right environment, our burgers, like most other foods, could decompose.
“But, in order to decompose, 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.
“Look closely, the burgers you are seeing are likely dried out and dehydrated, and by no means ‘the same as the day they were purchased’.
“The reality is that our burgers are made only with 100% USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] inspected beef.
“There are no preservatives or fillers in our patties and the only thing ever added is a touch of salt and pepper on the grill.”
Earlier this year, a man in the US showed off what he claimed was a 20-year-old hamburger from McDonald’s.
He said it also had not decayed.
McDonald’s issued the same statement at the time.
Dr Donald W Schaffner, a specialist in food science at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told Fox News at the time that McDonald’s gave an “entirely factual response.”
He said most of the bacteria is killed off because McDonald’s cooks its burgers well done.
If a burger is stored in the correct conditions, such as a dry place, it would become dehydrated and somewhat mummified, he added.