April 24th, 2013
12:30 PM ET
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Have you ever cleaned out your refrigerator or pantry and found a really old piece of food?

You know what I’m talking about - Oreo cookies that have gone from black and white to all green, slices of mold-dripping bread, milk that smells like it was bottled at the sulfur mine.

Usually, we have a knack for knowing when to toss away food that’s about to go bad. But sometimes, we completely forget about it until we encounter quite a surprise.

That’s what happened to David Whipple, a Utah native who discovered an old hamburger in his coat pocket. How old was that burger? Let’s just say it was cooked when Bill Clinton was president.

Watch the video above to hear about the ancient burger and the surprising condition it was in.


McDonald's has issued a response to the story, saying, "McDonald’s hamburgers are freshly prepared in our restaurants. While not knowing the conditions in which the food was kept in this specific claim, what is scientifically known is that in bacteria and mold only grow under certain conditions.

For example, without sufficient moisture – either in the food itself or the environment in which it is held – bacteria and mold and associated decomposition, is unlikely. If food is/or becomes dry enough, it won’t grow mold or bacteria. In fact, any food purchased from a restaurant or grocery store or prepared at home that lacks moisture would also dehydrate and see similar results if left in the same environment.

McDonald's hamburger patties in the U.S. are made with 100% USDA-inspected beef. They are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else – no preservatives – no fillers. Our hamburger buns are made from North American-grown wheat flour. These are the same foods that people buy every day in their local grocery stores."

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Filed under: Weird News

soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. Sanfordfan

    Sounds like a hoax. Assuming he had his jacket cleaned at least every few years, the burger would have dissolved in the laundry solution. But then I am not familiar with McDonalds food items.

    May 31, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  2. skytag

    Humidity is very low in Utah. If it sat out as a part of a display for three weeks it would have dried out. All this fuss over a dried out hamburger. LOL

    May 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • al

      Add to that the bactericidal effects of salt. This is a millenniums old custom if preserving meat, salt curing.

      May 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  3. Kyle

    Since he's from Utah, he probably has lots of 14-year-old things. Like his wife.

    May 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • owned

      Wow, youre a huge douche.

      June 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Connie Heitmann

    One of the reasons niche blogging is better than general blogging is because if you choose a specific subject, that helps to establish you as an expert. Once people consider you an expert on a topic, they are more likely to visit your blog for the specific information you can provide.*`

    Good day to you

    May 8, 2013 at 12:27 am |
  5. iamthewalrus

    I would eat it for free, but I would just get as much money as I could out of it. Why not?

    April 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  6. Is this where I type the name?

    Pay me in 1000 24k gold coins. Then I will eat that burger like a starving hippo.

    April 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  7. acer661

    You pay for the hamburger then I will eat it.

    April 29, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  8. Cynthia

    I get worried about bread that does no go bad or moldy after 3 weeks.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • merennulli

      I have had the same result from both off the shelf bagged bread and even fresh baked bread that was kept in a semi-dry environment – the space under the seats in my parents mini-van while growing up. It dries out, but still looks like bread.

      The disgusting part of McDonalds is generally not the food anymore, it's the eating habits of those who still eat there.

      April 29, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  9. Kingofthenet

    Nothing to Rot, it's dry as a bone...it's MUMMIFIED

    April 26, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Is this where I type the name?

      It makes me feel TUT.

      April 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  10. anonymouse

    That burger doesn't look a day over 9 years old! I would need to see the receipt to believe it! What a (Ray) crock!

    April 26, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  11. JT

    how much would I have to be paid? That depends on where it was from. If it were from a fast food chain, I'd want enough money to become the controlling interest shareholder and force them to make their food healthier

    April 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  12. TOXI COM


    April 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  13. hoxcgen

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Time-travel Hamburger.

    April 25, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Jelibean


    But as a poor college student... I would eat it for a meeeeeeelion.

    April 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  15. Balls of Steel

    Not even worms ate that burger why would you?

    April 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  16. Julie

    My husbands buddy has had a cheeseburger sitting on the shelf in his garage for at least 9 years.. It's always the joke of every get-to-gether to see who will eat it!

    April 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  17. Chris P. Bacon

    There's not enough money in the world to get me to eat ANYTHING from McDonalds!

    April 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • peridot2

      Agreed. McDonalds has no actual food that I ever eat. Until recently I thought they had some breakfast but they changed the Egg McMuffin, and that was the end of that. Ick.

      April 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Roland

      Great. Now McD's is going to fold because two people have boycotted it. Oh, the humanity.

      April 26, 2013 at 7:15 am |
      • Chris P. Bacon

        I think all you need to do is watch (Super Size Me) at: http://www.hulu.com/watch/63283

        April 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  18. The Pope

    That's nothing. I found a 75 year old sausage in my pants. Smelt like it, too.

    April 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  19. Paul

    I would for a date with Angie Everhart

    April 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Mark

      Both the burger and Angie were in their prime 12 years ago...

      April 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  20. zzmac

    You should see the curly fries in the other pocket and the strawberry shake in his shoes!

    April 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
  21. Name*francis

    Oow how is this even possible, anyway how is the burger's out look now.???

    April 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  22. jill

    was it horse meat hee hee

    April 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • Lyle

      Too bad they don't make light bulbs

      April 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • BKE

        Or pantyhose.

        April 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  23. dike

    Hmmm, I am sure it will take longer to expunge all the nasty stuff after consuming it.

    April 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  24. Dan

    I think CNN need to better then that. I was able to guess few thing before clicking on the link

    April 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • koreen


      April 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • henry chen

      and CNN call this news???

      April 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  25. mike

    I think it's funny how they didn't mention that it was all the preservatives in the food that keep mold from growing on it.. that thing is pumped full of junk..

    April 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • nick

      wrong. 100% beef.

      enlighten yourself: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/the-burger-lab-revisiting-the-myth-of-the-12-year-old-burger-testing-results.html

      April 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
      • heyitsandrea7

        When you order at McDonalds (or any other fast food) the beef patty you get is NOT 100% ground beef and nothing else. If you look close at the advertising, it will say MADE WITH 100% ground beef, or, in McDonalds case: 100% pure beef IN our burgers. That is legalese for the beef we add to our patties is real beef, but in no way tells the consumer what % of the patty is, in fact, ground beef. The rest of the patty is beef byproduct (the undesirables and scraps from the carcass) mixed with chemicals. When a lab performed an analysis on Taco Bell's meat it came back as being about 65% actual meat. Why would a lab lie about their findings? I think Taco Bell's PR covered that up real quick. Even the ground beef you buy at the majority of supermarkets are not 100% beef. Next time you buy your ground beef at the store there is an ingredients list on the meat. The way to get around this is to shop at quality butchers and/or have the butcher grind a whole piece of meat that you have selected. TL;DR fast food burgers are not 100% beef.

        April 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
        • Ronald

          McDonalds hamburgers are advertised as a 100 percent beef patty with no fillers or additives. The myth of McDonalds hamburgers has been debunked on more than one occasion (Snopes, etc). It might not be good, but it is all beef.

          April 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  26. TheMovieFan

    I see Jesus' face in the patty.

    April 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  27. Seeker of Truth

    If it's on the internet, it must be true.

    April 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Pierre

      "Bon jour"

      April 26, 2013 at 7:22 am |
  28. skier123

    Perhaps this will one day become an exhibit at the Smithsonian, a good example of a fast good product that is so bad that is survives the test of time. What is next with McDonalds? Fries that will improve with age?

    April 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  29. susan

    Where's the ketchup? Cheese? Pickle? It's odd that someone got a plain burger.

    April 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Maria

      You can obviously see the remains of the ketchup on the bun.

      April 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Shaina

      My husband orders them plain!! ;)

      April 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  30. andy

    Why the hell would someone ever put a burger in their pocket to begin with? Hamburglar?

    April 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  31. Hannover

    I wonder if it's older than the one Jason from the Howard Stern show has on the shelf in his office? They talked about it recently and said how it looks exactly the same as it did the day they put it up there.

    April 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  32. whopperman

    Kramer on Seinfeld ate a hotdog just as old he would probably eat it.

    April 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  33. Roy

    Looks like one of McDonalds old leather burgers.

    April 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  34. Don

    I have a can of Coca Cola from 1988 he can drink when he eats the burger...

    April 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  35. gstlab3

    I believe it because I know how these fast food meat processors operate and I know what you get at one of these places is certainly not fresh or even close to whole fresh meat any more.,
    it is what is called a highly rendered meat product.,

    which means that it is less than dog food grade meat scraps and horrible pieces of fleash which is also disinfected with ammonia and litteraly washed and pre cooked into a shape which is on all their burgers and in their nuggets.

    April 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Chris

      This is no different then the burger that I cooked that was made out of fresh 100% ground beef that I know is fully beef and not a mixture of crap. Placed it with a burger from Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's and a small mom and pop restaurant. All the burgers look the same after 9 months so far and no evidence at all that that would change. So there is no conspiracy that added crap causes the meat to not go bad.

      April 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • mMK

      It's mummified, that's all, wrapped in cloth and packed away it dried out which prevented decap.. same thing would happen to one you make yourself at home.

      April 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  36. Jo Mama

    I do not believe this for a second. No way that is more than 14 days old. I guess mold spores do not exist in in this man's pocket. What a bunch of BS.

    April 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bob

      For those who are saying this is not real because there is no mold. It was in Utah. Those of us who live in dry climates almost never see mold. If we leave bread out it is dry like a rock in 4 hours. Dry stuff does not mold.

      April 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Zane

      actually, mcdonalds burgers have so much preservatives in it they dont grow mold. For a research project we did. we actually places mold spores onto the patty just to see if anything would grow. Nothing.

      April 25, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Bart

        Was that after or before you cook the burger?

        They already tested this myth and when you cook food, what you removing is the water inside the food. No water no mold.

        April 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  37. Old Hippie

    Two obese Patty's, special Ross, Lester B picking bunions on a Sesame Street Bus.

    April 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Damian

      LMAO! So gross ! Just shows you how disgusting and processed fast food is. Full of chemicals and preservatives. No thanks !

      April 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Most Outrageous

      "Two obese Patty's, special Ross, Lester B picking bunions on a Sesame Street Bus"
      OMG!! Too funny!!!!

      April 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  38. Canada

    Nah, it's okay CNN, there's not any other more pressing new topics or issues to be discussed.

    April 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Charles Anderson

      That's original. It's more than a "hard news" site. Please show me a single network news site that doesn't have these types of stories?

      April 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  39. Thomas

    meanwhile ketchup onion and mustard demand justice, pickle abides and lettuce can't be found..


    thomas :)

    April 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  40. Amorette

    I live in Miles City, MT and we have doughnut in our museum that was fried in 1864 before the owner went off to the Civil War. I kid you not.

    April 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Valerie

      Hahaha! That's awesome!

      April 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
      • Amorette

        We're having a big party next April for the 150th with free, freshly made doughnuts. If you are ever in Eastern Montana, drop by and it.

        April 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  41. Jon

    wasn't there a sitcom that was similar to this? first episode, some kid eats a really old fastfood burger, dies and his ghost haunts his friend...

    April 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  42. Dusty D

    I'm gonna about tree fiddy

    April 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Rich

      +1 sir. Well played.

      April 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  43. Shannon

    The only way I would eat that burger is if that person paid for my medical bills as soon as I get sick and then give me a meeeeelion dollars times 2. Then and ONLY THEN I MIGHT eat that burger, but it would be under further consideration. :)

    April 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • peridot2

      Don't hold your breath.

      April 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  44. Petrified

    So wish I had kept the McDonalds Sundae that I forgot in my desk from 18 years ago. Co-worker wanted to steal it, so I hid the thing during lunch. Found it when I cleaned the desk out when I left seven years later. It was in the bottom drawer, back dried in the shape of the sundae chocolate syrup and all. Frightening what this food looks like later. The ice cream resembled Alpine Lace Swiss cheese. Maybe funeral homes should use McD's to embalm us.

    April 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Soar64

      My experience with Ice cream goes back to when I worked on weekends at the Drive In movie complex cleaning up the trash people had thrown out their window during the movie. More than once I ran across ice cream bars people had thrown away. It amazed me that the ice crream had melted, but retained perfect shape. The ice cream bars contained so much artificial stuff that the bar would have lasted for an eternity.

      April 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  45. whopperman

    that burger is still fresher then McDonald's burger at noon today.

    April 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  46. Owl96

    Its fresher than any burger behind the counter at most McDonalds.

    April 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  47. Heywood

    Fourteen years is impressive, but I have that beat. My family and I have been passing around a McD's cheeseburger for the past 20 years. Somewhere along the way we had to encase it in plexiglass to keep it from disintegrating. Still has the original wrapper and everything.

    April 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  48. Jeff

    Clearly he can throw out the piece of clothing if he hasn't worn it in 14 years. It was just taking up space in the closet. Question, why was the burger bought only to never be eaten? Does he not know there are starving kids across the globe..

    April 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Dave

      He bought more than one and saved the other for later. Way later.

      April 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
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