In case you didn’t know fast food burgers do not rot. Don’t believe us? Watch the video at the end of the article.

If you feel a bit queasy upon learning that, well, you should. We grow up knowing that real food should spoil over a certain period of time. Meats may last for a couple of weeks or a few months when kept in a certain temperature in the fridge, but then we don’t really want to take the risk, right?

But before you start condemning every fast food burger out there, know this: there are possible reasons why they seem to be immortal.

This burger doesn't rot. Do you want to know why? / PicHelp
This burger doesn’t rot. Do you want to know why? / PicHelp

One of the hypotheses that have been going around is that of J. Kenji López-Alt, the man behind Serious Eats and a chef with an extensive experience working in restaurants.

Like the others, he was curious as to the reason behind this phenomenon. Initially, he came up with five, including:

• The burger may have too much salt, a well-known preservative.

• The burgers were prepared in an environment that prevents the growth of molds and spores, an assumption he threw away.

• The companies use a certain type of preservative that prolongs its shelf life (but then, patties are said to be made of hundred percent beef).

So he conducted an experiment. He made some burgers using the buns and patties of a popular fast food brand and those he personally made. There were a few conditions. One, he didn’t touch any of these components. They were then left in open air for about three weeks.

Guess what happened? Obviously the burgers didn’t rot, but in a very interesting discovery, his prepared burgers didn’t either.

Upon analysis, he discovered that the answer may have been the level of moisture. For molds to grow, a surface such as a patty should have excessive moisture.

Because most of the patties are thin, moisture escapes before molds can set in.

In other words, a burger not rotting should not immediately alarm you.

Needless to say, that should not give you the entitlement to eat fast food regularly. It’s long been proven they can contribute to obesity because of their way-above-WHO-recommended levels of sugar and sodium.

Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:


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